What to Do When the Contractor Disappears From the Job, and How to Choose a Good Contractor.
(Advice courtesy of Next Level Plumbing’s owner and master plumber, Byron Thomson.)
You have been looking at your old, out-of-style bathroom and have been thinking about changing things up for several years now. You finally decide to pull the trigger, you choose the look you want, and you get a couple of prices because this will be a complete change-up it is not cheap.
You call 7 different plumbing contractors, and only 4 of them actually show up to give you a quote. Of those 4 only 2 actually give you a price. You make your decision and sign the contract with the plumbing company you selected and make the down payment. They arrive to begin work but then run into unforeseen problems. They leave, saying they’ll come back the next day, but you never see them again.
This story, although made up, is part of stories I have heard over and over as a plumbing contractor in the state of Florida. Unfortunately, this is not as uncommon as it should be. Florida is notorious for its share of crappy contractors.
What Happens if This Happens to You?
First of all, find out if they got a permit for the work they were doing. If they did, the permit should be changed to reflect the correct company working on the job. This is important to know and tell the plumber who is coming out to take over the job.
When I have taken over jobs in the past I always have a lot of questions. I want to know what exactly I’m walking into. From my end, I don’t want to get caught in a situation where both the homeowner and the contractor are suing each other over a breach of contract leaving me unsure exactly who is liable for what or I might not get paid, or if I might have to write up documents and prove things as a plumbing contractor about the job for the courts. This is why I want to know what I am getting myself into before bidding on the job.
Once I understand the situation I can offer the solution. It could be as simple as us completing the job for X amount. Or it could involve working with the county or city to resolve the permit, giving proof of what was done when I started to the lawyers, or even in some cases telling you that you need a General Contractor and I can do the work subcontracted through them.
Regardless of what extent I have to go to for the job, it is always best to be upfront and honest with the plumber coming to correct the original issues. If you hide things from them, that can make things go poorly.
We hope these tips help you to be more prepared!
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