Home & Garden

Contract with GC - is collections possible?

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  • May 20th, 2021 7:46 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 18, 2008
860 posts
210 upvotes
Woodbridge

Contract with GC - is collections possible?

Hi folks,

I signed a contract with a GC to do my basement bathroom with shower room (shower room has a bench and supposed to have mosaic floor in it). Contract says install tiles on floor and walls. Total $2700. I buy tiles, grout, marble jam he would supply cement needed for the job. Contract doesn't say these details it just says install tiles on walls and floor.
He asked me $400 deposit before even starting the job which I agreed, we signed contract in which it says $400 deposit paid and the remaining amount.
The guy came and installed tiles only on floor outside of shower (hardly even 1/3rd of the entire job). While doing so he started arguing with me that I am asking to raise the floor too high (I wanted to be flush with the rest of the basement which will have dricore + laminate on it) so he ended up using all the cement he brought with him so he said I need to buy more cement.
I argued that he needs to buy cement not me. He got extremely upset took all his tools and left.
He is threatening me that he would go to collections if I don't pay him extra $1000 (which will amount $1400 paid for the whole job being $2700).
Anyways such a sad turn of things, not sure what to do.
What are my rights here. I know he can put a lien on my house probably but what is the best outcome here? What should I do? Call him offer to pay him maybe another 2-3 bills and have something signed with him that he did his job he got paid and we have no more deals together or just let it go, forget about it or what else?
I don't also want to be a guy who made someone work for 6 hours for little money (in the end that $400 i gave him he probably used 100-$200 on cement he already bought and used). But also I am left with half done job and will have even harder time getting someone who will be willing to continue someone's mess.
24 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2005
2805 posts
1162 upvotes
Mississauga
Was the 2700 quote for his labor and all the materials he has to buy? Was his agreed on ?

When I've made deals with my contractors its always just labor.. if they supply materials I ask how much and for receipts (if it's a new contractor).. also I know more or less what the price of materials are.

I would agree to pay for whatever materials were used and for a fair labor wage for the tiles he did.. did he do a good job ? Are you happy with it ?

Then get someone else to finish it as you have already tainted this relationship.

Note.. you signed a contract with a tile guy / tile setter... not a GC.. a GC is someone who would manage your whole bathroom.. and get the tiles, plumber and electrical to do their portions. Here you seems to be playing the role of GC.
Jr. Member
Mar 24, 2009
137 posts
131 upvotes
KW
This is actually a tricky situation. If you didn’t explain yourself....your fault. Think it over....
Deal Addict
Dec 24, 2007
1955 posts
487 upvotes
Toronto
Was the grading discussed and agreed with? Written down somewhere ?

Cheers !
Thread started in 2016 - 1927 fully gutted and renovated 2 storey detached home in the big T.O. - small projects still in progress.

RFD priceless!
Newbie
May 12, 2021
85 posts
46 upvotes
Thinset is suppose to be thin. And it’s expensive and time consuming to use thinset to raise a floor. And thinset is suppose to be thin...LOL!! Should have used cement board.

Op, did you give him the exact height of the finished floor when he quoted?
badass wrote: Was the grading discussed and agreed with? Written down somewhere ?

Cheers !
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10648 posts
5935 upvotes
Paris
I think you both have a case. The contract wasn’t specific, but did he raise the floor to the height you wanted? Was the height discussed beforehand?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 18, 2008
860 posts
210 upvotes
Woodbridge
Jerico wrote: I think you both have a case. The contract wasn’t specific, but did he raise the floor to the height you wanted? Was the height discussed beforehand?
Contract wasn't specific, all that it says is "install floor and tiles", but we discussed the floor option before we even got to signing something. i showed him my dricore panel and laminate put them on top of each other and explained that having floor drop so much isn't an acceptable solution for me. All that he was saying "brother don't worry, brother don't worry"
But when he came to doing the job I guess he got frustrated that he used so much cement doing it.
Anyways his last words were "either pay me $1000 more for what I have already done or I will go to collections". I refused because I don't think he completed more than half the job to ask total 1400 (400 on signup what I already paid and additional 1000).
I would have agreed to pay him another 200-300 maybe have something in writing and be done with it. But asking 1400 total for a work that he did 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM while taking breaks for a pack of cigarettes he smoked outside. Seriously? It was 6 tiles al together he installed 24x24 sized 6 tiles. What kind of rate is that?
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
3703 posts
1235 upvotes
Edmonton
erexa wrote: Contract wasn't specific, all that it says is "install floor and tiles", but we discussed the floor option before we even got to signing something. i showed him my dricore panel and laminate put them on top of each other and explained that having floor drop so much isn't an acceptable solution for me. All that he was saying "brother don't worry, brother don't worry"
But when he came to doing the job I guess he got frustrated that he used so much cement doing it.
Anyways his last words were "either pay me $1000 more for what I have already done or I will go to collections". I refused because I don't think he completed more than half the job to ask total 1400 (400 on signup what I already paid and additional 1000).
I would have agreed to pay him another 200-300 maybe have something in writing and be done with it. But asking 1400 total for a work that he did 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM while taking breaks for a pack of cigarettes he smoked outside. Seriously? It was 6 tiles al together he installed 24x24 sized 6 tiles. What kind of rate is that?
Time to diy? It's not a difficult job
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10648 posts
5935 upvotes
Paris
erexa wrote: Contract wasn't specific, all that it says is "install floor and tiles", but we discussed the floor option before we even got to signing something. i showed him my dricore panel and laminate put them on top of each other and explained that having floor drop so much isn't an acceptable solution for me. All that he was saying "brother don't worry, brother don't worry"
But when he came to doing the job I guess he got frustrated that he used so much cement doing it.
Anyways his last words were "either pay me $1000 more for what I have already done or I will go to collections". I refused because I don't think he completed more than half the job to ask total 1400 (400 on signup what I already paid and additional 1000).
I would have agreed to pay him another 200-300 maybe have something in writing and be done with it. But asking 1400 total for a work that he did 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM while taking breaks for a pack of cigarettes he smoked outside. Seriously? It was 6 tiles al together he installed 24x24 sized 6 tiles. What kind of rate is that?
Tell him to pound salt then. Liens etc arent free either, and he needs to prove his claims. Thinset is not the right way to raise a floor.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 18, 2008
860 posts
210 upvotes
Woodbridge
Jerico wrote: Tell him to pound salt then. Liens etc arent free either, and he needs to prove his claims. Thinset is not the right way to raise a floor.
he used "Mapei Ultraflex LFT Mortar White for large format tiles". And he raised the floor by 15 mms ( even less, just about 1/2"). Not sure if that is too bad and I need to redo it or I can live with it...
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10648 posts
5935 upvotes
Paris
erexa wrote: he used "Mapei Ultraflex LFT Mortar White for large format tiles". And he raised the floor by 15 mms ( even less, just about 1/2"). Not sure if that is too bad and I need to redo it or I can live with it...
The description says it can be used as a 3/4” mortar bed so you are fine there. I’d go back to him, in writing, saying $1000 is too much as he did not complete 1/2 the job (being the total of $1400) but you are happy to attempt to come to a more reasonable arrangement and propose a number you are comfortable with, but propose a little low so there is room. If he puts a lien on you then you have tried to negotiate in good faith.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 18, 2008
860 posts
210 upvotes
Woodbridge
Jerico wrote: The description says it can be used as a 3/4” mortar bed so you are fine there. I’d go back to him, in writing, saying $1000 is too much as he did not complete 1/2 the job (being the total of $1400) but you are happy to attempt to come to a more reasonable arrangement and propose a number you are comfortable with, but propose a little low so there is room. If he puts a lien on you then you have tried to negotiate in good faith.
Oh great advise sir.
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2017
1482 posts
1343 upvotes
OP how much is the extra cement? $50? Just call him back apologize, buy the cement and get him to finish the job.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 18, 2008
860 posts
210 upvotes
Woodbridge
ProductGuy wrote: OP how much is the extra cement? $50? Just call him back apologize, buy the cement and get him to finish the job.
Why would I apologize when I didn't say him anything bad? I wasn't rude. I didn't ask him to leave, he got pissed off got his tools and left. All I asked was he was supposed to bring in the cement when I was told to go buy cement.

There was more to it, he made me run around entire morning finding a marble jam (stores he would send me wouldn't have it). When I was finally back around noon I explained that I missed half a day of work while he didn't (he cut tiles during this period) and I do need to also work so please excuse me and went doing my work.

Around 3:30PM he calls me down to tell me that he needs more cement and I need to go buy iy before these guys are closed at 4PM. So giving me effectively 30 minutes notice.

And I walked down while on the phone doing my meetings and explained him I can't leave now, I am in the meeting, can't he do it instead? He is like "no you MUST buy cement not me", even though that wasn't the agreement.

I again tried to be reasonable and was like "sir I can't leave now, how about I can buy tomorrow morning or maybe you can grab it on your way here", to which he replied "well these guys are open at 9 and I was planning to start early ". Then he took pictures of job he did and left. I consider at that point he already made up his mind what he is going to do with the contract. Otherwise why did he take pictures?

The rest was him and myself exchanging messages, him insisting that I am demanding new things not written in contract and me explaining that it is not a new thing he saw the dricore he saw the laminate all I was asking is not to have a huge drop. For lord's sake as I said before all of this over 25sqf area (6 tiles) and as I said he raised 1/2 " all together.

Then after exchanging so many messages him blaming me for demanding new things and me being defensive that I didn't demand new things, he then called me and said he would come get his tools.

When he showed up he told me he will send this to collections if I don't pay him another 1000.

To which I refused saying the kind of argument this is I am afraid you still will send to collections so I rather not pay you right now. I nicely told him "sir if you think I owe you money, you are free to seek all the legal ways to get it".

Then the guy who referred him to me called me later and I told him maybe I call pay him 2-3 bills in return of some paper signed that I don't owe anything to him, but that is about it.

Under no circumstance I will pay him that kind of money for 6 hours of work (minus breaks to smoke a pack of cigarettes) and 6 tiles installed.

And about him completing the job. I don't feel comfortable this sort of person even entering my dwellings anymore. It may sound harsh but I am sorry.

BTW when he showed up to work he said his back is hurting so i NEED TO (yes NEED TO, not even asking me nicely like would you mind please help me or something along the lines) carry all this cement and everything into the basemenent. and I carried these 50 pound bags into the basement (and later out so he can come get them).

Paying this kind of guy to finish a job? Nah thanks. I rather have court telling me I have to pay him which I will do, than having such a person enter my house again EVER.

BTW his company not on homestars not on fb, insta google nowhere to at least some remarks about it. I needed something ASAP and I guess this is what you get hiring someone like that...
Jr. Member
Mar 24, 2009
137 posts
131 upvotes
KW
A misunderstanding between a homeowner and a trade. Quite common.

I don’t believe the guy was malicious in doing what he did. He didn’t account for the added work when he quoted you. Something should have been worked out. It’s hard to come back for either one of you. I understand....trust is gone.

Now what? The one thing a trade hates is completing someone else’s job. Be careful with the next trade ...
Deal Addict
Nov 9, 2008
1748 posts
784 upvotes
Toronto
erexa wrote: Why would I apologize when I didn't say him anything bad? I wasn't rude. I didn't ask him to leave, he got pissed off got his tools and left. All I asked was he was supposed to bring in the cement when I was told to go buy cement.

There was more to it, he made me run around entire morning finding a marble jam (stores he would send me wouldn't have it). When I was finally back around noon I explained that I missed half a day of work while he didn't (he cut tiles during this period) and I do need to also work so please excuse me and went doing my work.

Around 3:30PM he calls me down to tell me that he needs more cement and I need to go buy iy before these guys are closed at 4PM. So giving me effectively 30 minutes notice.

And I walked down while on the phone doing my meetings and explained him I can't leave now, I am in the meeting, can't he do it instead? He is like "no you MUST buy cement not me", even though that wasn't the agreement.

I again tried to be reasonable and was like "sir I can't leave now, how about I can buy tomorrow morning or maybe you can grab it on your way here", to which he replied "well these guys are open at 9 and I was planning to start early ". Then he took pictures of job he did and left. I consider at that point he already made up his mind what he is going to do with the contract. Otherwise why did he take pictures?

The rest was him and myself exchanging messages, him insisting that I am demanding new things not written in contract and me explaining that it is not a new thing he saw the dricore he saw the laminate all I was asking is not to have a huge drop. For lord's sake as I said before all of this over 25sqf area (6 tiles) and as I said he raised 1/2 " all together.

Then after exchanging so many messages him blaming me for demanding new things and me being defensive that I didn't demand new things, he then called me and said he would come get his tools.

When he showed up he told me he will send this to collections if I don't pay him another 1000.

To which I refused saying the kind of argument this is I am afraid you still will send to collections so I rather not pay you right now. I nicely told him "sir if you think I owe you money, you are free to seek all the legal ways to get it".

Then the guy who referred him to me called me later and I told him maybe I call pay him 2-3 bills in return of some paper signed that I don't owe anything to him, but that is about it.

Under no circumstance I will pay him that kind of money for 6 hours of work (minus breaks to smoke a pack of cigarettes) and 6 tiles installed.

And about him completing the job. I don't feel comfortable this sort of person even entering my dwellings anymore. It may sound harsh but I am sorry.

BTW when he showed up to work he said his back is hurting so i NEED TO (yes NEED TO, not even asking me nicely like would you mind please help me or something along the lines) carry all this cement and everything into the basemenent. and I carried these 50 pound bags into the basement (and later out so he can come get them).

Paying this kind of guy to finish a job? Nah thanks. I rather have court telling me I have to pay him which I will do, than having such a person enter my house again EVER.

BTW his company not on homestars not on fb, insta google nowhere to at least some remarks about it. I needed something ASAP and I guess this is what you get hiring someone like that...
But in the contract you were supposed to provide all the materials? Not his problem if you need to run around and get it.

If you pay for labor ONLY, it's a common practice that YOU supply all the materials. Consider a drywall job - would you buy all the drywall, and screws, and tape, and then tell/expect the contractor you hired to come hang and finish the drywall to bring the drywall compound?

I would have just picked up the extra bag of cement and called it a day. Or if YOU don't have the time to go get it, expect to pay him an hourly rate to go do your shopping for you.

Time is money, especially on a quoted job.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 18, 2008
860 posts
210 upvotes
Woodbridge
jacquesstrap wrote: But in the contract you were supposed to provide all the materials? Not his problem if you need to run around and get it.

If you pay for labor ONLY, it's a common practice that YOU supply all the materials. Consider a drywall job - would you buy all the drywall, and screws, and tape, and then tell/expect the contractor you hired to come hang and finish the drywall to bring the drywall compound?

I would have just picked up the extra bag of cement and called it a day. Or if YOU don't have the time to go get it, expect to pay him an hourly rate to go do your shopping for you.

Time is money, especially on a quoted job.
Fine but I DID offer him to get it next day since I was just busy at that moment with meetings and really can't jump into car and rush to his place within 30 minutes and get the cement.
I told him and I would pay for it if he does it, also offered I could get it next day at 9 AM if he doesn't want to do it, but that also didn't work since he said he wants to come around at 7 AM. (didn't even consider that 7 AM might be early for me what a nice guy right)
What else I should have offered him that I didn't?

This is not the first contractor I am dealing with, had many tradesman already working on my basement, framing, drywall, plaster, etc.
This is the FIRST person that made my life so difficult for what I consider little reason.

And FYI
Framer, I did buy 2x4 yes but didn't buy nails nor screws
Drywall, I did buy drywall but didn't buy screws, in fact one of the days drywaller was short on screws and I offered to get it, he said "no I work with specific brand, which is higher grade than what they sell at HomeDepot", he finished his day early that day, brought in more screws next day and continued.
Plastering, asked me to buy compound, he brought in tape and some other minor things. I asked the guy can you buy compound instead? He told me he rather have me buy it, we ordered it together from homedepot he guided me through, I asked him just in case to order more, since this online ordering somethimes takes days to have it ready for pickup. We ended up ordering 2 boxes more than what he needed, I paid for it, and I gladly let him take these 2 unopened boxes, he can use it on the next job if he wishes. This is example of how nice people make it work.

Again. He came to do a quote, told me $2700. I asked.
-What does that include and what doesn't? What am I buying simply put (it is all in writing btw).
his answer
-You buy your tiles, marble jam and grout only, I bring in cement I need and I work with for the job

I didn't freaking ask him to give me a price that excludes the cement or includes only a cement to a certain amount, nothing stopped him giving me a price that says you ALSO BUY cement. But he chose not to do it. I didn't say a word abut his price, I agreed, would have agreed if he for example said 2500 but you need to buy cement or something. It was his choice to provide cement.

This is what he asked. And HE DID BRING IN CEMENT, it is just he used more than what he thought he might be using and made all that fuss.

Am I missing something?
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10648 posts
5935 upvotes
Paris
erexa wrote: Am I missing something?
I am a windows and doors guy, and outside of trim (when the customer wants someone specific they already have) we never have the customer supply anything for this exact reason. The guys show up with a fully loaded truck with 100% of what they need, and if they dont have it we have a runner that goes and gets it, they never leave. When you go to Home Depot and see contractors there at 2 in the afternoon, those guys are not busy or dont know what they are doing. Stores should be 100% empty of contractors between 9am and 4:30pm but I always see guys there when I’m there shopping for myself.

Depot/Lowes/Home Hardware all have discounted programs for contractors and people who shop for them and have it sitting in carts at the contractor deck at 7am (well, before covid). Working is the only way to make money, and shopping isnt it.

Anyone working with your materials is taking a huge risk you haven’t purchased the right thing, just like your drywall guy and his screws. Are there guys all working for cash? Thats the only reason I can think they dont want to buy their own materials as its easier to track via receipts for CRA.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 18, 2008
860 posts
210 upvotes
Woodbridge
Jerico wrote: I am a windows and doors guy, and outside of trim (when the customer wants someone specific they already have) we never have the customer supply anything for this exact reason. The guys show up with a fully loaded truck with 100% of what they need, and if they dont have it we have a runner that goes and gets it, they never leave. When you go to Home Depot and see contractors there at 2 in the afternoon, those guys are not busy or dont know what they are doing. Stores should be 100% empty of contractors between 9am and 4:30pm but I always see guys there when I’m there shopping for myself.

Depot/Lowes/Home Hardware all have discounted programs for contractors and people who shop for them and have it sitting in carts at the contractor deck at 7am (well, before covid). Working is the only way to make money, and shopping isnt it.

Anyone working with your materials is taking a huge risk you haven’t purchased the right thing, just like your drywall guy and his screws. Are there guys all working for cash? Thats the only reason I can think they dont want to buy their own materials as its easier to track via receipts for CRA.
He wanted cash, I asked him to give me proper invoice and include HST on top which is what he put in contract. And yes I can go get him cement but that might not even be the brand he is working with. Also I want you to guys see my point, that stores ARE closed I can't just walk into somewhere and buy it, he used some workarounds before when sending me places to buy marble jam, like "tell them I sent you, you work for me, they will let you in from back door". I felt extremely uncomfortable doing so. I shouldn't be asked to lie by a professional.

None of my other trades asked me to do that. All they ever asked me to provide was available for public from homedepot which I ordered got it either delivered or i picked up (like drywall and studs I got it delivered).

I am glad this guy didn't ask me to buy a blade for tile saw... Technically if we go to that extent a contractor can ask me to buy even that and then break contract and leave if I refuse that right ? lol
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
10648 posts
5935 upvotes
Paris
erexa wrote: He wanted cash
Now I see the problem. Massive red flag. Threaten to call CRA on him. He is responsible for charging and remitting tax on that $400

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