Resolving contractor payment issues

Dear Angie: I paid a contractor in full for a job never completed and wasn’t even done properly. I had an out building roof collapse due to heavy snow load, which had to be demolished. Now, he is asking for more money. What recourse do I have? I want to make sure he doesn’t do this to anyone else. – Laila, K., Canterbury, Ct.

Dear Laila: I hope that you and the contractor both signed a contract that clearly spelled out the job costs, payment schedule and other terms. If you did that, met your end of the obligation and have receipts or proof that can verify you paid, then you shouldn’t have to pay another cent for the job.

Further, if the contractor failed to live up to his end of the terms as established in the contract, then he is legally bound to fulfill his duties. If neither of you signed a contract, then both you and the contractor could have a hard time proving your respective cases if you were to go before a small claims court judge. I recommend you protect yourself by taking pictures of the damages to the structure to show proof of the workmanship issues.

You could try talking to the contractor to address your concerns and ask for specific actions to remedy the situation. Then, follow up with a letter. If you do reach out again, be sure to keep records of all correspondence. If the contractor requests documents, send only a copy and keep the original. Keep a log of all conversations, including the date and time of the call, what was said and who you spoke with.

You can also report on your experience to Angie’s List to let others in your area know of the issues you’ve encountered with that contractor. If you’re not getting the response you want from the contractor, consider going through the Angie’s List Complaint Resolution Service. We’ll work with the contractor on your behalf to help find a resolution to your problem.

Angie’s List collects about 40,000 consumer reports each month covering more than 350 categories of home-related services. Angie Hicks compiles the best advice from the most highly rated service pros on Angie’s List to answer your questions. Ask Angie your question at

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