Incomplete installation and withholding payment

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HomeSealed
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Re: Incomplete installation and withholding payment

#16 Post by HomeSealed » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:51 pm

anthony wrote:Glad to see that your contractor is doing the right and smart thing.
Let me on the soap box please. I try to be the safest contractor to be dealt with. Let me explain, in most states the consumer protection agencies biggest complaint area is contractors. Poor workmanship and bad business practices being the lead. In most cases I do $1 deposit (no pennies please) and balance upon completion( not substantial completion). If there is a product problem or install mistake customers do not have to worry if I am motivated to get it done, I am. Many will say that we are ordering custom product and what if the homeowner backs out, that is why I need a 50% deposit. I would say that 1. you have terms with your supplier( if not that is a warning not to do business with them,2. homeowners are not the problem, though I have been stuck by a few contractors, 3.change your sales process to make sure you client has made a right choice.
We are not perfect and when a mistake or project can not be completed as scheduled will wait till complete for payment. Most of my customers at that point will offer to pay an amount they think is reasonable, sometimes I let them.
I'm glad that works for you anthony. Since you cited a few of my points, I'll briefly respond. Our company prefers to use industry best practices in these areas as laid out by NARI, and consistent with BBB and other consumer protection agencies. Detailed contracts protect all parties involved, and provide fair and concise solutions when things go awry and in this business, things WILL go awry from time to time). It is always preferable to have a close and trusting relationship between contractor and client, however as stated above, these things can go downhill in a hurry when details are not laid out and expectations set ahead of time.

TheWindowNerd
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Re: Incomplete installation and withholding payment

#17 Post by TheWindowNerd » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:04 am

I do not think it inappropriate to take a deposit, but it is safest for the homeowner not to have any money involved till they have product.
I am not the only one who sees this as a safe guard for the homeowner as I see a few others also doing it.
It is a huge difference in the market place though, as is doing all things right and good.
The $1 deposit is working for me and my customers.

theWindowNerd...

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HomeSealed
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Re: Incomplete installation and withholding payment

#18 Post by HomeSealed » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:35 am

Glad it works for you. I know that you are a good guy and have honorable motives, however most times I see the "no downpayment" tactic used as nothing more than a sales ploy. Pretty disingenuous IMO. Certainly it prevents a "fly-by-night" contractor with no overhead, staff, physical location, etc. from running off with your money, but when working with a reputable company with roots, it really offers nothing more than an illusion of protection, as the contract and legal docs are what will be binding in the end.
Ultimately I am not against the concept (we do it in some cases), but I generally prefer a more conventional down payment/final payment option that offers fairness and protection to all parties. Just my $.02.

cksiam
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Re: Incomplete installation and withholding payment

#19 Post by cksiam » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:21 pm

Well, as a customer, I was and am much more comfortable paying as little as possible until I know I get what I paid for. In fact, one window company (full showroom, located in high end neighborhood) suddenly closed shop not long after they quoted me on new windows. Local message boards show angry customers trying to get their deposits back from them. A worst case example, for sure, but it does show that once someone else has your money its not so easy to get it back, even with a contract.

In my case, had I paid out most of the balance of the contract before the work is completed, I'd be getting agitated (perhaps even worried) if my contractor didn't wrap up the job quickly. With most of the money still in my pocket, I'm not worried right now.

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HomeSealed
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Re: Incomplete installation and withholding payment

#20 Post by HomeSealed » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:08 pm

I think that your situation is progressing fairly cksiam. Now if it were me, I'd trade an extra few bucks for a more comprehensive contract to add to that peace of mind, but as I mentioned earlier it sounds like you are at a point where both sides are happy moving forward so hopefully it all gets wrapped up to your liking. :)

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Window4U (IL)
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Re: Incomplete installation and withholding payment

#21 Post by Window4U (IL) » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:22 pm

HomeSealed wrote: Ultimately I am not against the concept (we do it in some cases), but I generally prefer a more conventional down payment/final payment option that offers fairness and protection to all parties. Just my $.02.
I agree. I am not going to buy $15,000 of custom size windows without a downpayment.
I learned a lesson in 2008 when the recession hit and the housing market collapsed that Contractor's Mechanics liens are completely worthless if someone is losing their home. The bank is the only one that will recoup any money. I lost over $25,000 that year on homes that we ordered customs windows for that were foreclosed on while the windows were on order.
A good solid contract that protects both sides is just good business. And for homeowners, contracting with a good solid company with great ratings and great references that has been around a long time is their best protection.

fenestra
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Re: Incomplete installation and withholding payment

#22 Post by fenestra » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:04 pm

As some one who is involved in several remodeling projects and recently having windows installed I will chime in. On my install several windows were manufactured with errors. I accepted a couple but really needed a couple to be remanufactured. I withheld approximately the cost of the final two windows. Does not really protect me, working with good contractor protects me. I would think that whenever custom made products are involved a down payment, and a substantial one, is pretty standard. Especially in a homeowner/contractor transaction. Contractor to contractor may be different, repeat business, long term relationships lead to net 30 terms.

Now, one hvac guy wants everything up front, one only a third.

The custom cabinet guy wanted all up front, he has screwed up three times so far, not happy giving all the money upfront.

The insulation guy wants 25% down, the electrician will bill me when he is done, the plaster guy collects after he is done. So it can vary greatly depending on the work and the initial outlay, but contractors need to protect themselves as well as far as I am concerned.

cksiam
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Re: Incomplete installation and withholding payment

#23 Post by cksiam » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:18 pm

Still waiting for the work to be completed, but I discovered another problem not present on the other Sunrise windows installed on previous orders. With this latest install, I noticed the black "rubber" sealant or adhesive around the glass is not straight and neat. Instead, now it looks really sloppy (see the photo).
Window Seal 1.jpg
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It seems to be a purely cosmetic issue, but again, this wasn't a problem on my previous orders. I'm still waiting to hear back from contractor on this latest issue, but does anyone think I'm being unreasonable asking that these sashes also be replaced? After all, these windows aren't cheap and shouldn't I expect a nicely finished product?

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HomeSealed
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Re: Incomplete installation and withholding payment

#24 Post by HomeSealed » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:55 pm

Things may look different in person, but based on that pic I'd agree that it looks sloppy, and would not be out of line to ask that it is fixed/replaced. That may or may not necessitate an entire sash.

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Delaware Mike
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Re: Incomplete installation and withholding payment

#25 Post by Delaware Mike » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:38 pm

That's just a bad glazed window in which either too much "hot melt" (industrial glazing sealant) was applied by the automated machine with a burp or out of calibration, or the workers on the assembly line set the insulated glass unit into the sash with some issues regarding placement. I've been to the plant several times and have witnessed their glazing areas. Quality Control should have caught this. I'd try asking for a new sash or sashes.

cksiam
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Re: Incomplete installation and withholding payment

#26 Post by cksiam » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:21 pm

Interestingly, the glazing problem is on all the windows in the exact same corner. Contractor just called an is ordering all new sashes.

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