Getting Paid

AndyG

Because some other guys are perverts
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I am posting this because the emotional outcome of this situation was absolutely liberating and I am not posting it just to show where I had the upper hand on somebody.

We have had a customer with psychological trauma and a devoted husband that we have tried for a year and a half to complete a bathroom.

I can’t even begin to describe to you the situation- Things like breaking down in tears because a drawer box had to be a quarter inch shorter. Mam you really can’t put anything in the drawer bigger than the opening it slides into.

There were so many changes made during the beginning of the job that the building inspectors even said do not change anything else. I have never heard of that happening.

The odd thing about this customer is they would make changes that would have a very bad impact later but they wouldn’t understand the impact of those changes and they wouldn’t listen when we tried to tell them. If you raise your vanity you’re going to get into the outlets and you’re gonna have to pay the electrician to move them up, The plumbing may have to be relocated, etc. If the shower is not designed to be doorless and you decide not to do a door, you may have a water problem,etc.

Now to be fair statistically projects that end up in litigation always start with excessive change orders which is an indication of indecision by the client in most cases. Also projects that tend to end up in litigation normally have excessive time frames for the aforementioned reason.

For the sake of my reputation I will go far beyond the extra mile and the ordinary for any customer who is struggling but nice, communicative and understanding of the impact they are having to our workflow.

We worked through punch list after punch list after punchlist and got down to just a few things and with no forewarning the customer would not allow us to finish and abruptly went out of town- To avoid allowing us to finish and settle the balance of the contract.

That was the last straw.

I simply tallied up the final charges and told them that I was filing a lien unless they paid 95% of that before they left and we will collect the rest when they got back and we took care of the remaining details.

They went on the trip without checking their email and then reached out to me with a counter offer that was about 60% less.

I politely declined.

I also mentioned if they had a security clearance they needed to pay attention to what I was about to do.

The money was wired to us today.

Will we go back and do the remaining punchlist work? Absolutely, within reason we will.

But now that I have removed the leverage the client has less power and we have less to lose.

Keep in mind this is a very extreme situation and there is no reason for anything like this to ever happen...But it does.

Unfortunately contractors in most states only have a mechanics lien as a weapon and there is no way to escalate up to that with something lesser such as a freeze of the permit that would not allow them to get another permit on the property until they paid. (You can do that after the job but you can’t really do that during the job).

So a mechanics lien is essentially a nuclear bomb- It works but it destroys everything.

I guess the “big takeaway” to me was the feeling of elation once I broke free of the negative energy of the situation. Situations like this don’t really happen all at once they develop overtime and you don’t realize the drain they’re having on you until you get free.

Thanks for reading and if you are a contractor have solid contracts and all your credentials in place and if you are a homeowner make sure your contractor has a solid contract and all his credentials in place and that you both have a clear understanding of what is expected and that you both understand the impact of making changes on the fly.

It also really needs to be considered if a family member has any kind of psychological issue that would prevent them from making the decisions or enduring the stress of a remodel. I say that very carefully because it’s not funny to see people hurt and at the same time there’s no point in getting into something that would make it even worse. Remodeling is as high on the list of things that stress a marriage as a new child, a job change and a death.
 
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I am posting this because the emotional outcome of this situation was absolutely liberating and I am not posting it just to show where I had the upper hand on somebody.

We have had a customer with psychological trauma and a devoted husband that we have tried for a year and a half to complete a bathroom.

I can’t even begin to describe to you the situation- Things like breaking down in tears because a drawer box had to be a quarter inch shorter. Mam you really can’t put anything in the drawer bigger than the opening it slides into.

There were so many changes made during the beginning of the job that the building inspectors even said do not change anything else. I have never heard of that happening.

The odd thing about this customer is they would make changes that would have a very bad impact later but they wouldn’t understand the impact of those changes and they wouldn’t listen when we tried to tell them. If you raise your vanity you’re going to get into the outlets and you’re gonna have to pay the electrician to move them up, The plumbing may have to be relocated, etc. If the shower is not designed to be doorless and you decide not to do a door, you may have a water problem,etc.

Now to be fair statistically projects that end up in litigation always start with excessive change orders which is an indication of indecision by the client in most cases. Also projects that tend to end up in litigation normally have excessive time frames for the aforementioned reason.

For the sake of my reputation I will go far beyond the extra mile and the ordinary for any customer who is struggling but nice, communicative and understanding of the impact they are having to our workflow.

We worked through punch list after punch list after punchlist and got down to just a few things and with no forewarning the customer would not allow us to finish and abruptly went out of town- To avoid allowing us to finish and settle the balance of the contract.

That was the last straw.

I simply tallied up the final charges and told them that I was filing a lien unless they paid 95% of that before they left and we will collect the rest when they got back and we took care of the remaining details.

They went on the trip without checking their email and then reached out to me with a counter offer that was about 60% less.

I politely declined.

I also mentioned if they had a security clearance they needed to pay attention to what I was about to do.

The money was wired to us today.

Will we go back and do the remaining punchlist work? Absolutely, within reason we will.

But now that I have removed the leverage the client has less power and we have less to lose.

Keep in mind this is a very extreme situation and there is no reason for anything like this to ever happen...But it does.

Unfortunately contractors in most states only have a mechanics lien as a weapon and there is no way to escalate up to that with something lesser such as a freeze of the permit that would not allow them to get another permit on the property until they paid. (You can do that after the job but you can’t really do that during the job).

So a mechanics lien is essentially a nuclear bomb- It works but it destroys everything.

I guess the “big takeaway” to me was the feeling of elation once I broke free of the negative energy of the situation. Situations like this don’t really happen all at once they develop overtime and you don’t realize the drain they’re having on you until you get free.

Thanks for reading and if you are a contractor have solid contracts and all your credentials in place and if you are a homeowner make sure your contractor has a solid contract and all his credentials in place and that you both have a clear understanding of what is expected and that you both understand the impact of making changes on the fly.

It also really needs to be considered if a family member has any kind of psychological issue that would prevent them from making the decisions or enduring the stress of a remodel. I say that very carefully because it’s not funny to see people hurt and at the same time there’s no point in getting into something that would make it even worse. Remodeling is as high on the list of things that stress a marriage as a new child, a job change and a death.

I'm a tattooer, specializing in large scale projects such as sleeves, back pieces, ECT... It's several hours if not days of prep work for references, and drawing time. I give proofs prior to tattooing. I've had a handful of clients try to make major changes mid project. Very similar feeling to what you are explaining about "that just won't work". We agreed on what we're doing ahead of time, now you're changing to something I know will suck. Extremely frustrating! Have only had to fire a handful of clients but the mental toll they take is deep. Glad you were able to get paid. Hopefully that job wraps up quick and they lose your number forever
 
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I'm a tattooer, specializing in large scale projects such as sleeves, back pieces, ECT... It's several hours if not days of prep work for references, and drawing time. I give proofs prior to tattooing. I've had a handful of clients try to make major changes mid project. Very similar feeling to what you are explaining about "that just won't work". We agreed on what we're doing ahead of time, now you're changing to something I know will suck. Extremely frustrating! Have only had to fire a handful of clients but the mental toll they take is deep. Glad you were able to get paid. Hopefully that job wraps up quick and they lose your number forever

Buddy you’re doing something that really is a whole other level of touchy-

I don’t have a tattoo but let me say this-

First I can see the bond that you get doing that with somebody and their excitement about the artwork and the banter during the job. What you do is a big event for a lot of people.

What they are doing is to ask you to do something that is very permanent without giving you the opportunity to plan.

Another thing they are doing that is very dangerous is taking you out of the zone. I’m talking about that special place where people with artistic ability work from to create the beauty they do.

I’m not even going to get into the complexity of stopping and starting and making everything line up and all that.

Then you get into a similar situation that I do where the customer prevents getting the finished product and you need to be paid.

I’m saying all that to say also I know you want to be good to work with and you want to be flexible and you want to make sure they end up with something that works. And I’m also going to say you probably deal with some people that have very strong convictions about what you’re doing to their body.

I’m not a tattoo guy...I was going to get Oklahoma tattooed to my privates once but they said all they could do was “OK”. Something about not being able to write that small.

I’ve never witnessed a tattoo or set foot in a tattoo studio but tell me if I’m in the ballpark of the dynamics.

Also I want you to know you have my respect because you’re doing something that really has to be done right the first time. We get into a little bit of that drilling a hole in the countertop or something like that but we can get another piece of stone you really can’t get a new arm.
 
Buddy you’re doing something that really is a whole other level of touchy-

I don’t have a tattoo but let me say this-

First I can see the bond that you get doing that with somebody and their excitement about the artwork and the banter during the job. What you do is a big event for a lot of people.

What they are doing is to ask you to do something that is very permanent without giving you the opportunity to plan.

Another thing they are doing that is very dangerous is taking you out of the zone. I’m talking about that special place where people with artistic ability work from to create the beauty they do.

I’m not even going to get into the complexity of stopping and starting and making everything line up and all that.

Then you get into a similar situation that I do where the customer prevents getting the finished product and you need to be paid.

I’m saying all that to say also I know you want to be good to work with and you want to be flexible and you want to make sure they end up with something that works. And I’m also going to say you probably deal with some people that have very strong convictions about what you’re doing to their body.

I’m not a tattoo guy...I was going to get Oklahoma tattooed to my privates once but they said all they could do was “OK”. Something about not being able to write that small.

I’ve never witnessed a tattoo or set foot in a tattoo studio but tell me if I’m in the ballpark of the dynamics.

Also I want you to know you have my respect because you’re doing something that really has to be done right the first time. We get into a little bit of that drilling a hole in the countertop or something like that but we can get another piece of stone you really can’t get a new arm.
That was all pretty spot on, we're permanently changing someones appearance. Was told by my mentor "If that doesn't stress you out you're an asshole" lol. At this point I've been doing it a long time (20 years in) so like anything else you learn to adapt. Doesn't make it any easier when it's happening. Tattooing is a trade, we go through apprenticeships and work our way up in a similar way. Dealing with humans can be hard in any industry. Pretty fortunate now to be in a place where I can pick and choose a little more but every once in awhile those people sneak through. Read your situation and could relate. Love 95% of the people I work with and wish I could strangle the other 5%
 
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I could never be a contractor doin your work
You need to be skilled not only in a trade(s) , but also a people person to deal with human garbage.

Wealth often brings out the worst in people when it comes to something they want.

If any of you ever heard of the Pamela Anderson /Tommy Lee sex tape scandal of the 90s?? Watch the HULU special they created. It DIRECTLY relates to AndyGs experiences shared here.


Tommy Lee was a spoiled rich dickhead that foooked over his bedroom contractor repeatedly. So the contractor robbed him, and got the sex tape and sold it for his $$$ owed
 
Well they did not send the agreed amount.

Shorted it by $1200.

Bless their hearts they don’t realize that I’m protecting them from other mechanics liens and suppliers liens.

So I told them and my attorney that we would begin the process of filing the lien monday for a lesser amount, And that we would not release the building permit so that no further work could ever be done on the home, And that we would not pay the cost of expunging the lien to clear their credit or security clearance later. They have until noon Monday to wire the balance.

Why would I be so heavy handed?

Well, number one this is my living and the living of everyone that works for me and we purchase from.

Secondly we have worked on their terms for about 18 months on a two month job. Now we’re going to work on my terms.

Now realistically they’re going to send the money and tell me not to even ever come back and we will furnish a waiver of lein and terminate the contract if we collect what we should. The reason they would do that is because they really want the situation to go away and they don’t have really anything to complain about with the job. They have rolled marbles around on the floor and went around with a magnifying glass and that does not qualify for normal construction quality criteria.
 
Now realistically they’re going to send the money and tell me not to even ever come back and we will furnish a waiver of lein and terminate the contract if we collect what we should. The reason they would do that is because they really want the situation to go away and they don’t have really anything to complain about with the job. They have rolled marbles around on the floor and went around with a magnifying glass and that does not qualify for normal construction quality criteria.
I've seen, and have sat on many panels in judgment of, nitwits like this, it never plays well in the courtroom for them. People get so wrapped up in their own psychosis they actually believe they're on the side of right, without any idea of how their behavior and actions appear to an objective observer with no dog in the hunt.
 
I've seen, and have sat on many panels in judgment of, nitwits like this, it never plays well in the courtroom for them. People get so wrapped up in their own psychosis they actually believe they're on the side of right, without any idea of how their behavior and actions appear to an objective observer with no dog in the hunt.

You are 100% right and I actually told them in the last email that they would be ashamed if they could see their behavior compared to a normal customer.

I’ll tell you something else I learned years ago- A judge or panel may not be able to perceive minor disagreements in quality, But they can discern if you have a building permit and proper licenses and a good contract in a heartbeat.

And I will say this about being objective- If a customer has a genuine quality issue I have enough character and self-respect to not ask for my money if I’m not in the right to do so.

We’re talking about a bathroom that cost over $50,000 that is absolutely exquisite. You could lay a straight edge on the tile floor and you can’t get a paycheck under it.

I’m really not doing this completely to be aggressive I’m also doing this to help them get out of their own way.

These are not uncharted waters for me.... I haven’t sailed here often but when I have I have missed all the rocks.
 
We’re talking about a bathroom that cost over $50,000 that is absolutely exquisite
A &50K bathroom?
Got pics?? Love to see it!!!
Show off that craftsmanship

Ive learned to do tiling myself and quickly realized the biggest cost is labor because good God man it takes alot of time and patience doin it solo
 
A &50K bathroom?
Got pics?? Love to see it!!!
Show off that craftsmanship

Ive learned to do tiling myself and quickly realized the biggest cost is labor because good God man it takes alot of time and patience doin it solo

50K for a bathroom is above my pay grade or want. Although we are now doing a kitchen reno that will be approaching 100K
 
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Better have a hibachi station in it for that price.

nope $8250 worth of Cambria quartz counter tops, drawer microwave, beverage fridge, knocking down a wall and doubling the size of what we have now. $33K from insurance from the leak that started the whole thing. Although my homeowners dropped me for this incident.
 
nope $8250 worth of Cambria quartz counter tops, drawer microwave, beverage fridge, knocking down a wall and doubling the size of what we have now. $33K from insurance from the leak that started the whole thing. Although my homeowners dropped me for this incident.

A buddy of mine is doing something similar, only it was the mfg of his dishwasher footing the bill because they had a known defect causing a slow drip in the back. Needed mold remediation, some subfloor and floor joist replaced, and house is 85 years old so of course had to bring a bunch of stuff up to code. Turned into a full kitchen remodel about 3x what the payment from the dishwasher company was, with new cabinets, countertops, appliances, floors, insulating, even moved an exterior door. Fired the first contractor and now the second one seems much closer to AndyG caliber.

Also learned that weight-bearing plumbing was a thing in 1930s Tulsa.

IMG_20231118_155803.jpg
 
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Kinda like that dude down in Jamaica? His tattoo on his privates said “Welcome” when relaxing When excited it read……welcome to Jamaica man, have a nice day.

Reminds me of an old joke:

Nurse #1 says to Nurse #2; "That poor patient in room 112 has 'Shorty's' tattooed on his tool. I'm sure he never gets any action, so I'm going to help him out late tonite." Next day, Nurse #1 stumbles into work, barely able to walk. "What happened?" Nurse #2 asks. Nurse #1 moans, "When he got going, it read 'Shorty's bar and grille, Albuquerque, New Mexico!'"
 
A buddy of mine is doing something similar, only it was the mfg of his dishwasher footing the bill because they had a known defect causing a slow drip in the back. Needed mold remediation, some subfloor and floor joist replaced, and house is 85 years old so of course had to bring a bunch of stuff up to code. Turned into a full kitchen remodel about 3x what the payment from the dishwasher company was, with new cabinets, countertops, appliances, floors, insulating, even moved an exterior door. Fired the first contractor and now the second one seems much closer to AndyG caliber.

Also learned that weight-bearing plumbing was a thing in 1930s Tulsa.

View attachment 475151

Da Fuq?
 

Yep. He originally thought the top half of the king stud was just hanging there and was ready to address it but got a couple of opinions and I guess that was a thing they did back then. The pipe is firmly sandwiched between the framing such that it transfers the load down to the bottom section.
 
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Yep. He originally thought the top half of the king stud was just hanging there and was ready to address it but got a couple of opinions and I guess that was a thing they did back then. The pipe is firmly sandwiched between the framing such that it transfers the load down to the bottom section.

Galvanized iron pipe is tough , and that wall was obviously sound for 85 years. Try that with PVC.
 
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