A Married Homeowner vs. Her House’s Mistress; The Contractor

It was in April of 2005, after the sixteen-page contract was signed, that Ms. Lipofsky’s rebuilding process began. Soon after she became suspicious of the unscrupulous ways of her licensed contractor when things just didn’t add up. She remembers having a CAD artist come over to install her skylights and one look at them now reveals that the work wasn’t quality. Years later when a secondary roofer checked on the skylight install he noted that they weren’t properly sealed and there was a good chance she would have problems with them.

Poorly executed skylight.

Poorly executed skylight.

After the contractor had received $30,000 of her money he stopped showing up to her house and the project came to a screeching halt. She called the contractor asking what it would take to get him to return to her house. Ms. Lipofsky was told that she needed to pay for the shingles herself and have all the materials delivered to her house and then he would return. Her gut questioned this arrangement, but she just wanted to get the ball rolling again. The contractor convinced her that everyone has to pay a little extra on project like these, so she followed his instructions and he returned to work once the material arrived.

Abandoned materials still remain

Throughout her construction it seemed to be one thing after another. Her contractor broke one of her windows and learned that once opened it wouldn’t be able to be shut. Instead of replacing it, he only left her with the warning to not use the windows. She was told that her roof was finished, but just a few weeks ago learned that portions of it were not completed after all. She paid extra to have a leak in the roof over her porch repaired and he left it unattended to. After over $4,600 out of her pocket she was left with an unfinished roof and half completed soffits.

Cast aside gutters.

Cast aside gutters.

She was repeatedly asked to leave her job during the work day to go make carpeting and cabinet selections at vendors her contractor told her were approved. After almost a half dozen trips to continually reselect flooring she was starting to wonder what was going on. Her contractor kept saying she was holding up the progress by not selecting items that were within her contractual amounts, but she was picking items that were in the base pricing level time and time again.

Flooring still unfinished 8 years later.

Flooring still unfinished 8 years later.

Just when she thought things couldn’t get worse, Ms. Lipofsky came home one day to find the painter using shades of fluorescent green and blue to paint the inside of her house. She selected colors and sent them to her contractor previously when she paid for the work in advance, but he subcontracted the work to a painting team who chose to utilize something they could obtain at a better price. Enraged by what she found she immediately called her contractor and he told her she should go to purchase the paint herself. Not wanting any of the progress to stop, she immediately went and purchased the correct paint herself but in retrospect admitted that she felt the painter was trying to pocket money in the deal.

It all starts to add up.

It all starts to add up.

After purchasing many of her materials out of her own pocket she learned that her contractor had filed a complaint that said she was too bossy. He insisted that Ms. Lipofsky was taking over as if she was the Project Manager. Having never met a Project Manager, she admitted to me that she felt someone had to take ownership over her house. She was treating her home as if it was someone she was married to. She worried about it, protected it, purchased anything needed to heal it and faithfully watched over it day in and day out. It’s a good thing she was such a loyal wife to her home as her mistress of a contractor disappeared again in October of 2005.

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