HVAC Questions? Ask an HVAC Expert for Answers ASAP
I apologize for the delay. Took the photos, but while there, the contractor did some additional work--preferences and code upgrades--that he only now says are extra costs. In the contract and also stressed by him before signing the contract, he states that any additional work must be written of and signed as change orders to the contract along with cost agreements prior to the work being performed. Now we are faced with a list of additional charges, many of which we don't believe are worth the costs.
So with the exception of one, we'd like to forget about what you asked for and focus instead on these new charges. I'll look for a JustAnswer attorney to answer most of the confusing issues, less one, one dealing with the ventilation of the furnace and tank-less water heater. Perhaps, only perhaps, you can answer this one.
Originally, when the proposal had been drafted, the contractor would build the cavity (shaft) between the basement, the next (main) level, short attic space above, and roof on top. An HVAC person would install the PVC vents (exhaust and intake) as well as a "box" on the roof to secure the pipes in different directions (so that exhaust wouldn't be next to a fresh air vent). Prior to the contract, the HVAC person suddenly dropped out of communications (for months now). Contractor agreed to do the installation for that HVAC person, of course, for an additional price.
Here's where things get hot. Although the contact states that any additional work must be agreed upon (signed) change order to the contract, he went ahead and installed the furnace and tank-less water heaters as well as the PVC tubing and box to secure them on the roof. But now he has given us a bill--along with other charges--claiming that the PVC tubing wasn't part of the contract.
CONTRACT essentially states that he will install them and elsewhere says that we are responsible for essentially the more decorative materials, while he, for the essentially rough building materials.
While we believe we could just say there was no change order, we are interested in paying him for what work we would have had done anyway. Although, we don't believe that the installation of these PVC pipes is our responsibility. He even had us pay for the PVC pipes, and after talking it out between me and my husband, we believe those are his charges, not ours.
Any insights? (We believe these charges are the result of him walking onto the sight and discovering that his crew hadn't done enough work to date. So we believe he decided to make up for the financial losses by charging us for whatever he felt he could, in the spur of the moment.
Again, if you are willing, any insights/answers?
Hello again.I have been in this business for 52 years so far and have seen pretty much everything tried to rip off customers. What you are experiencing is common with bad contractors.The time to bail out on this person is now, not after he makes further attempts to rip you off... and it needs to be done with witnesses present who are willing to testify in small claims court... and so that he knows that he will not be able to lie his way out of the situation.Take detailed dated pictures of every detail of the job to date. Have witnesses as you take the pictures. Take pictures of him on the job and of his truck if the attorney you work with on Just Answer recommends it also. Don't talk to him alone or without witnesses again. Meantime tell him you need to hold up the job to tend to a brief emergency. (this mess for instance but you don't need to mention it)You to not want to push him into threat mode. Some of these guys can do a lot of damage, or threaten damage if you resist their ploys.You do indeed need legal advice to make this go smoothly.Your recourse in most states that have contractors licensing laws is to file a claim against his bond. In California the bond is for $25,000. But there are very strict time schedules you have to follow... in most states you have 15 to 30 days to make your initial filing, then must follow up from there. That will be a first stepWhat you need to be wary of is his ripping out work that he has already done with the threat that you need to pay him for all of the unapproved work... thats a common strategy. Lock him out of the job site while you are off 'tending to the emergency'. when you let him back in, there should be witnesses present and you should have already talked to the attorneys you need.One of our lawyers here can discuss the broader issues with you and refer you to a construction attorney in your area if the money involved is worth the expense... beyond the expense issues here are the risks of dealing with this sort of person. So far the 'extra' work he has done does not sound like it should add up to more than a few hundred dollars. PVC pipe is not expensive at all, and it is easy to install... and its not just decorative, it is a key part of the work called out in the contract you signed.. he has no right to call it an extra... such behavior is well beyond rational bounds... this person needs to be handled with the aid of legal advice.
Regarding the furnace and tankless water heater venting.. In order to get a building permit in most areas the installation manuals showing the venting requirements have to be shown to the city building department and then inspected and approved... the work has to be approved before it is closed in and cant be seen... given the legal implications that will be the best approach here.
If no building permit has been taken out the contractor will be in violation of the building code and subject to files and risk of losing his contractors license in most jurisdictions ..
Please send the photo's of the work to date, I can review them also.
The attorney will need the contractors license numbers of all contractors involved, and their liability insurance, and surety bond numbers, Insurance carriers etc. Contractors in most states are required to provide the home owner with this information before starting work.
I will send this now before my broadband has a glitch... We can continue on with the technical details later. Stay in touch. You can rate my work so far *positively at any time, I will keep the question open in that case.