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What to do about a contractor who's gone MIA?

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What to do about a contractor who's gone MIA?

Old 05-25-2019, 03:01 PM
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Default What to do about a contractor who's gone MIA?

A few years ago I needed some roof repairs done on my house and asked at the local hardware store for a recommendation. The owner gave me the card of a local guy who does handyman type work.

I had him do a few things around the house, including fixing a big issue I had with my roof because the previous owner didn't flash it properly.

2 years ago we decided to refinance our house and had a master bathroom put in, previously there was no plumbing or anything on the second story. He was nice and worked with me on the price, allowing me to do a lot of the labor so he didn't have to hire a second person and could keep costs down. The full master bath install cost around $8000, which was a hell of a steal. We have heated floors, a walk in shower, etc. Plus running all the plumbing and everything to the second story.

He also moved my electric panel from my cellar to my dining room. The old one was very corroded and in bad shape.

He also made me a very good deal on a 12x28' building that he was selling when he moved to a new house, which I turned into a cabin for my dad.

The whole bathroom / electric panel project took about 6 months. He's in his late 50s, a vet, and has a lot of health problems, and his long term girlfriend left him out of the blue and got married like 3 weeks later to someone else, so he was dealing with that. So we'd frequently take week or more long breaks while he dealt with his life. Since I was getting such a good deal, I was willing to deal with it.

Everything has been wrapped up for over a year now.

He was supposed to do one final project for me, I have some rotten sill plates that need replaced in my crawl space and the concrete support for the main beam under the house is crumbling and needs reinforced.

Before he did that, he had another job he had to do, about 3 blocks from my house he was updating a small 1 bedroom apartment including new drywall, new bathroom, etc. He worked on that through the end of October of last year.

After that was wrapped up, he said he had a few personal things he needed to work on, then he'd start my foundation repair.

He went totally radio silent after that.

February he texted me, said his brother was dying from cancer, he didn't find out until too late and wasn't going to do Chemo since it wouldn't extend his life very far, and that he needed some time to deal with that.

Haven't heard from him since.

Today I stopped back in at the hardware store to buy some air filters for my furnace. I asked the owner if he'd heard from the contractor. Nope, and in fact he owes quite a bit of money on his charge account.
I mentioned what he told me about his brother. Turns out, his brother had been in there about a month prior, and while he did say he'd had cancer, he was in remission.

So, I know I've been B.S.'d about that.

So here's the deal - I fronted the contractor half the cost of the foundation repairs ($1000) for materials. However, I have $800 worth of the materials in my garage, he bought one of the big things of 2 part expanding foam which costs around $750 because we were going to insulate the foundation walls and sill areas to reduce drafts. And I have some lumber he'd purchased to fix my cellar door.

On top of that, I have his big metal jobox lock box thing thats been sitting in my garage with a bunch of his tools in it since he started the bathroom project.

I've called the guy and sent him several texts and haven't heard back.

At what point do I say piss on it and sell his shit? I can't park my car in my garage because this thing is taking up so much space.

On one hand, I feel like he's done me some pretty solid favors, did a lot of work for well under market value and made me a heck of a deal on the building I turned into a cabin for my dad.

On the other, I know he's lied to me about why he's not started work, and he's been completely MIA since February.
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:08 PM
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Give him a deadline to show up and if he doesn't start work with somebody else. This way you cannot possibly feel any guilt. Sounds simple to me but I know that he did you right. But you gotta move on
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:09 PM
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Just get someone else to finish the job. Seems he has been fairly good till he disappeared. I would not sell his tools but go ahead and use the materials he bought.
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by kennyboy View Post
Give him a deadline to show up and if he doesn't start work with somebody else. This way you cannot possibly feel any guilt. Sounds simple to me but I know that he did you right. But you gotta move on
Oh I've already come to terms with the fact that I'm going to have to find another guy to do the foundation work. Its a pretty simple job, just gotta go down there with a couple bottle jacks, jack the floor up just a bit and slide out the old sills and slide in new ones. And the main beam just needs a concrete pad poured under it and one of those screw jacks put in place. Problem is I'm a fatass and can't really work down there, its a pretty narrow crawl space.

I just don't know what to do with his shit. Like I said, I have his jobox sitting in my garage. Those sell for $1000 or more new. It doesn't have a lot of expensive tools in it, but theres some wood working stuff in there and a few saws, a long with a bunch of drop clothes.

I've tried contacting the guy over and over and got no response.
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:21 PM
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Might have more than one brother
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mulberryg View Post
Might have more than one brother
I know him pretty well. Remember, we worked together for several months building this bathroom. He has 2 brothers, one passed about 10-15 years ago. The other helped occasionally on the bathroom and electrical jobs when he was out of work as a directional drill operator.
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:36 PM
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Jobox is with a few hundred used. If he is only charging that little his tools are most likely crap. I would keep the box around for a little while longer then sell it and just keep the money Incase he shows up. After a year just spend it.
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by lugoismad View Post
A few years ago I needed some roof repairs done on my house and asked at the local hardware store for a recommendation. The owner gave me the card of a local guy who does handyman type work.

I had him do a few things around the house, including fixing a big issue I had with my roof because the previous owner didn't flash it properly.

2 years ago we decided to refinance our house and had a master bathroom put in, previously there was no plumbing or anything on the second story. He was nice and worked with me on the price, allowing me to do a lot of the labor so he didn't have to hire a second person and could keep costs down. The full master bath install cost around $8000, which was a hell of a steal. We have heated floors, a walk in shower, etc. Plus running all the plumbing and everything to the second story.

He also moved my electric panel from my cellar to my dining room. The old one was very corroded and in bad shape.

He also made me a very good deal on a 12x28' building that he was selling when he moved to a new house, which I turned into a cabin for my dad.

The whole bathroom / electric panel project took about 6 months. He's in his late 50s, a vet, and has a lot of health problems, and his long term girlfriend left him out of the blue and got married like 3 weeks later to someone else, so he was dealing with that. So we'd frequently take week or more long breaks while he dealt with his life. Since I was getting such a good deal, I was willing to deal with it.

Everything has been wrapped up for over a year now.

He was supposed to do one final project for me, I have some rotten sill plates that need replaced in my crawl space and the concrete support for the main beam under the house is crumbling and needs reinforced.

Before he did that, he had another job he had to do, about 3 blocks from my house he was updating a small 1 bedroom apartment including new drywall, new bathroom, etc. He worked on that through the end of October of last year.

After that was wrapped up, he said he had a few personal things he needed to work on, then he'd start my foundation repair.

He went totally radio silent after that.

February he texted me, said his brother was dying from cancer, he didn't find out until too late and wasn't going to do Chemo since it wouldn't extend his life very far, and that he needed some time to deal with that.

Haven't heard from him since.

Today I stopped back in at the hardware store to buy some air filters for my furnace. I asked the owner if he'd heard from the contractor. Nope, and in fact he owes quite a bit of money on his charge account.
I mentioned what he told me about his brother. Turns out, his brother had been in there about a month prior, and while he did say he'd had cancer, he was in remission.

So, I know I've been B.S.'d about that.

So here's the deal - I fronted the contractor half the cost of the foundation repairs ($1000) for materials. However, I have $800 worth of the materials in my garage, he bought one of the big things of 2 part expanding foam which costs around $750 because we were going to insulate the foundation walls and sill areas to reduce drafts. And I have some lumber he'd purchased to fix my cellar door.

On top of that, I have his big metal jobox lock box thing thats been sitting in my garage with a bunch of his tools in it since he started the bathroom project.

I've called the guy and sent him several texts and haven't heard back.

At what point do I say piss on it and sell his shit? I can't park my car in my garage because this thing is taking up so much space.

On one hand, I feel like he's done me some pretty solid favors, did a lot of work for well under market value and made me a heck of a deal on the building I turned into a cabin for my dad.

On the other, I know he's lied to me about why he's not started work, and he's been completely MIA since February.
tldr
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:52 PM
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In your shoes I would draft a letter (not sure if it needs to be from an attorney) indicating a timeline/deadline to complete the work and remove his tools/box. Once that time has passed I would have the work completed and do what you want with the tool box. Being nice is one thing, being taken advantage of is another.
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:33 PM
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Sounds like he took good care of you. Can’t you just wheel the box out of your garage and cover it with a tarp u til he pops back around?
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by AsurfAholic View Post
Sounds like he took good care of you. Can’t you just wheel the box out of your garage and cover it with a tarp u til he pops back around?
You know, I really didn't think about that. Thats not a bad idea. I can move it to behind the garage and put a tarp over it. It has locks, so I can lock it.

I mean, I have to think he'll want it eventually.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bjm9818 View Post
Jobox is with a few hundred used. If he is only charging that little his tools are most likely crap. I would keep the box around for a little while longer then sell it and just keep the money Incase he shows up. After a year just spend it.
Honestly, I think he gave me really good prices because I would work with him, and he really enjoyed teaching me how to do stuff. He taught me a lot of plumbing, electrical and tiling stuff I didn't know. He had mostly very new dewalt gear, including a really cool battery powered dewalt chop saw.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by lugoismad View Post
Honestly, I think he gave me really good prices because I would work with him, and he really enjoyed teaching me how to do stuff. He taught me a lot of plumbing, electrical and tiling stuff I didn't know. He had mostly very new dewalt gear, including a really cool battery powered dewalt chop saw.
I would say just him taking the time to teach you trade skills that are always usefull in life should be enough to just keep his stuff tarped as previously mentioned. Always good to know how to do the stuff even if your paying someone else to do it.
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Jersus View Post


tldr
So you aren't capable of reading more than a few sentences and you're so proud of it that you want everyone to know? If it is too much for you to read, there is a thread with some funny photos that might be more your style. Sometimes the photos have words on them that make them even funnier, but you can skip over those.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:06 PM
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What's a jo box? Or is it a job ox?
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:09 PM
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Might be in jail, that would explain the radio silence. Do a Google search of his name and jail records. Since he seemed to have taken care of you, and was easy to work with, I'd hold onto his stuff for a year if not incredibly inconvenient.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bjm9818 View Post
Jobox is with a few hundred used. If he is only charging that little his tools are most likely crap. I would keep the box around for a little while longer then sell it and just keep the money Incase he shows up. After a year just spend it.
Selling his livelihood needs a better reason than, "needing space", IMO. Can't it be taken outside and covered?
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by lugoismad View Post
I know him pretty well. Remember, we worked together for several months building this bathroom. He has 2 brothers, one passed about 10-15 years ago. The other helped occasionally on the bathroom and electrical jobs when he was out of work as a directional drill operator.
So he's not a licensed contractor?
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:14 AM
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Cut your losses. Tell him you are not mad and to please come pick up his stuff. Even offer to drop it off.

Take the high road and walk away. You will feel better closing this chapter. Sounds like wussy move but it will be the best thing for you.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:15 AM
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sounds like the guy has a lot of problems and is fighting to stay above water. consider yourself blessed and well off in comparison. try to help him if you can locate him, otherwise store his stuff for him.
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