Contractors advertise their amazing work, luring you into a sale. It may seem great until you see the work on your home. Even if you’ve seen pictures and did your research, you may not like the work provided. What happens if you’ve paid the contractor and want your money back?
Most contractors won’t just hand your money back, unfortunately. You usually have to fight for it. You may need the help of the court or others.
Get the Evidence
First, gather evidence of the contractor’s wrongdoing. We suggest that you take pictures before, during, and after all work. This way you have ample proof of what transpired.
You’ll also need proof of your agreements. Hopefully, you got everything in writing. No one can prove a verbal agreement. Anything to do with money, work to be done, or any other agreements must be in writing and signed by both parties. This way when there’s a disagreement, you can take it to an unbiased third party to assess.
If you notice the shoddy work before the contractor is done with the job, go ahead and fire him. Why put yourself further in a financial hole for work you don’t like? If the work is already done, you won’t have any leverage to hold over the contractor’s head, but you may still get your money back.
File a Claim
Next, you’ll need to take the claim up with another party. Is the contractor an independent party? If so, does he have a surety bond? This should be something you look for before hiring a contractor. If he does, file a claim against it. That’s why contractors carry bonds.
Surety bond companies go after the contractor when clients file a claim. Most contractors will make good on the work rather than let you file a claim. If your contractor is uncooperative or the work is that bad, continue with the claim and let the contractor deal with the financial mess.
If the contractor doesn’t have a surety bond, consider other options below.
Contact the State
If the contractor is licensed, let the state licensing agency know of the poor work he does. Most agencies have a specific process you must use to file the claim. You may be able to access your state’s agency online. You can also contact your state’s attorney general for further assistance. If nothing else, they may remove his license, preventing him from doing work anywhere else, that isn’t up to par.
Consult an Attorney
If you have a written contract, you may consult with an attorney. An attorney may decide based on the pictures and the contract that there was a breach of contract. You may be able to take the issue to small claims court. The contractor will have to face a judge and may have to pay up for the lackluster work provided that didn’t meet his contractual obligations.
Spread the Word
If you can’t get financial compensation from the contractor, you could at least prevent others from getting taken like you did. The internet makes it simple to spread the word. Whether you say something on social media, leave an official review on the Better Business Bureau website, or any other third-party website, others will see it.
Word will get around town not to use the contractor, which will help prevent others from getting the poor workmanship you had to endure.
Dealing with poor workmanship can be difficult, but there’s ways to rectify the situation. Always make sure you get everything in writing before paying contractors any money. It’s also a good idea to pay in increments, only after your thorough inspection. Don’t pay a contractor upfront, they won’t have any incentive to do a good job when they have the entire payment already.