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Thread: PB's - I need advice/opinions please!

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    PB's - I need advice/opinions please!

    I need some advice on how to handle the situation I now find myself in. In Aug/07 I signed a contract to have a 15x27 inground kidney-shaped pool built. The dig started in 10/07. Since that time, the PB has dragged his feet in getting this completed. It has now been 5 1/2 months and it's still not finished, although close. All that is left to do is drop the liner and hook up the equipment. I have been very patient up to this point since having the pool completed would have cost me $$ in a cover. So, I let him "show what he's made of" and do his own thing without any prodding from me. He only worked 24 days out of the last 5 1/2 months! Well, now it's getting too close to Spring and his delays are getting on my nerves! He has lied throughout this process more times than I can count on 2 hands. His latest lie is that he will need 4 days to get the liner installed (this after the day before he tells me it would take 2). Interestingly enough, PenFab says it should only take 1! Last week I had finally had enough and explained that he had until 4/1 to get this done; that he had had plenty of time to get this done by now and there was no excuse. He immediately proceeded to tell me "don't you push me!" That was the last straw and pushed me right over the edge! I have contacted my fence guy and told him we are installing that fence on 4/1 and he gets locked out if he's not done.

    So, bottom line, after all this background babble is...do I have any recourse with this man? Nowhere in the contract does it state anything about completion in a timely manner. Can I legally fire him and have someone else finish the job?? If not, what can I do to put a fire under his a** and get this done? There is only the final pittance of a payment left for him, so there's not a whole lot of incentive to get this done. Do I really have to just take this from him and wait until he gets good and ready to finish??

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

    Karen
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Pentair Booster Pump
    Letro Platinum pressure side cleaner
    Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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    I been through this. My experiances apply to Illinois. The contractor has to do the job in a timely manner regardless of no timeline in the contract. I had to give written notice to the contractor that he had 14 days to complete the job or I would hire someone else to finish the job and deduct whatever it cost from his payment. In which case it did cost me more to have the job finished than I owed the first contractor so after all said and done (legally) the first contractor ended up paying me the difference which in my case was $700 some odd dollars. Lucky for me all my legal fees are free.
    21,000 gal Fiberglass (Indoor)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Now would be a good time to talk to a lawyer. Often a letter from a lawyer is enough to prod a contractor to finish the job. If that doesn't work you will have already taken the first step you need to take to replace them.

    Ignore the builder when he tries to bully you. You have all kinds or rights in this situation and he has very few. He is hoping you will just go away. Just ignore him and make sure you have given legally appropriate and documented notice that the job is not proceeding to your satisfaction, and not just a verbal interaction.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    midtngal's Avatar
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    Andy, thanks for relaying your experience. That's kinda what I'm trying to steer away from - having to pay more than is due to have someone finish the job. In looking at my contract, it looks like if we end up in court, I'm responsible for the fees. I'm not sure if that means only if I lose or what.

    Jason, thanks for the pat on my back! He IS trying to bully me and hasn't really gotten away with it so far, so I'm not sure why he thinks he can now. I have all the documentation needed. I have been keeping a calendar since day one on the weather and when work was done and when it wasn't just in case it came down to this. I believe I will get in touch with a lawyer so that on April 1 when it's not complete I can give the go-ahead for the letter... having already sent mine to him with my documention, etc.

    Thanks a bunch you guys! One other question (and it may be one I need to ask the lawyer)...if I do "fire" him and hire someone to replace him, does he have any rights to what is owed him on the contract?? Andy, are you saying that since you hired someone else to finish the job, the contractor had to not only eat what was left due to him, but pay you the additional $$ it cost to do that??

    Truly grateful to you!!

    Karen
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Pentair Booster Pump
    Letro Platinum pressure side cleaner
    Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

  5. Back To Top    #5
    You being responsible for the legal fees is if he has to sue you to get payment. You only have to pay your own fees if you sue him which as long as it's small claims court will not equal much.
    To clarify in my case I owed the first contractor around $7800 and the new contractor bid to finish the job was around $8600. I paid the second contractor to finish the job and the first contractor had to pay me the difference of the two amounts which was $700 something.

    The problem many run into is when they pay the original contractor too much money before enough work is done and then the contractor is only owed a small amount and really doesn't have much reason to finish the work quickly.
    21,000 gal Fiberglass (Indoor)

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    Yeah, I didn't like too much how the contract was set up so that the final payment was only $2450. I knew at the time that this wasn't a whole lot push to get it done! But, heck, the way it's turned out NONE of the payments seemed to be an incentive!

    I was thinking that's what you were saying about the original contractor paying you...I just wanted to make sure. All this goings on is exactly why I didn't pledge all but my last $5 to get into this pool. I was afraid I'd end up getting into something like this....that is my world! I didn't think that this guy would pull this though...he was referred by mutual friends. I checked him out with BBB, talked to pool owners that had him do their pool, he took me to other pools he was doing. There's not another thing I could have done to prevent it! Needless to say he has ruined his friendship with our friends and probably lost business over it as well.

    Well, again, thanks for your info. I guess the next step is to get in touch with a lawyer and go from there!

    Karen
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Pentair Booster Pump
    Letro Platinum pressure side cleaner
    Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    Thought I'd throw out an update on the continuing saga! I talked with a lawyer and he pretty much reiterated what both Jason and Andy have said. He was appalled at the delay as well. Rather than him writing the letter and me racking up legal fees (actually his suggestion!) at this point, he suggested that I write the letter giving him 30 days. If he doesn't have it done by then, I am to find someone to complete the job and we will go after him for the difference in cost. Twas music to my ears! My fence guy has called to make sure we're a go for 4/1 and tells me that he can get people to take care of this for me. So at least that part is handled if need be. I have chosen to see if he gets this done by 4/1 as requested rather than say "ummm...now you have 30 days!" If not completed on 4/1, the letter I have already penned will go certified AND regular mail to him and the fun begins!

    Vegasmom, if you read this..have mercy on you! What you are going through is 10 times worse! There is not a snowball's chance anywhere that I would put up with what you have. I would have racked up a lifetime's worth of legal fees by now! Patience only goes so far! My new favorite saying is - you choose your behavior, therefore you choose the consequences!

    So we shall see what April Fool's Day brings (oh how so appropriate). I am under the impression that nothing will happen. I have not heard a word from him nor has he done any work! What a great businessman, huh???

    Thanks again for your advice and opinions.

    Karen
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Pentair Booster Pump
    Letro Platinum pressure side cleaner
    Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Yes, I read your original post last week and thought "Gee, sounds familiar". I hope you get this all resolved in a timely manner. I agree with your saying, and realize I let this go on for too long. Just when I think we're back on track and I can relax, another mistake is made causing a delay. I have caught so many things by being out there but it really shouldn't be that way. They are not paying me to supervise. I left for a few hours the other day and all my wall caps were put on wrong.

    I guess the difference between your situation and mine is that my PB does want to finish, they are just so incompetent it prevents them from doing so. I have a feeling they're going to ask for a check soon, and my husband said they get nothing until this pool is completed. When I tell them that, I think we'll be at a standstill. At that point, I may need to get a lawyer. Maybe I should line one up, huh?

    Best of luck to you!
    No Cover Charge
    17,000 gal IG w/ raised 8' spillover spa, 3M plaster, 10' stainless rain WF, Pentair SAM lights, Sta-Rite Sys3 cart. filter, Intellichlor SWG, 400kBTU Gas Heater, Paramount IF Cleaners, ET-8 Wireless Remote

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    Karen, in addition to what you are already planning, immediately file a complaint with the local BBB office. They will contact the PB and he will be given a chance to make things right before the complaint becomes permanent. I think you'll find that if you start applying pressure to him in several ways, he will suddenly decide that getting your job done has moved to the top of his priority list. Good luck!!
    Our pool adventure... click here

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    midtngal's Avatar
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    TresW, I wholeheartedly agree with going to the BBB. Since I first checked him out last summer, he has had a complaint filed for this very same thing. I was thinking that I would wait until he was done before going to them, but you may be right. A letter with reference to my lawyer *and* the phone call from the BBB would do the trick I would think! He simply amazes me that he is still in business! After 3 weeks of fairly good weather with several warm days of above 65, he has not been here one single day! I know it could be worse, but boy it sure could be a lot better too! Thanks for your advice!

    Karen
    10,700 gal IG vinyl
    Pentair Triton II TR50 sand filter
    Pentair Booster Pump
    Letro Platinum pressure side cleaner
    Emerson 1HP pump
    Bioguard Mineral Springs SWG
    2 skimmers

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