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I am sorry to hear this.
What province is this please?
Are you saying that you've paid him for all the work he has done plus another $7000 for materials which he is yet to purchase?
This is Ontario...
We have a detail sheet, typed and signed by him of the work that had to be done. Within the sheet it was outlined with dates for money given towards the job. In addition the sheet outlined the start date and what was to be done with the total amount.
He had verbally stated 3 weeks total for job to complete.
Total amount was 13000 canadian dollars. We initially paid him the 50% for ordering material and paying for whatever sub-labor cost. He then asked for another 10% to cover some more labor cost. We agreed and gave him since we know his family and siblings.
So he has 8000 dollars in hand so far.
He has installed a countertop and bottom cabinets and replaced all drywall with tiling. Plumbing is not connected and we are missing some of the above counter cabinets. Cabinets that were installed are 7 inches higher (too high) above the 18-inch above standard counter mark and too small in dimension to fit what was discussed. Cabinets are damaged with putty used to patch the areas. Most cabinets and trimming are damaged. We are willing to live with the bottoms ones being damaged because the countertop has been sealed to it.
He supposedly is continuing to work with us with no communication as to when he shall be back or when he is coming.
I have taken pictures and photoshopped commentaries within of all the defects and damages that need to be fixed. I texted him these problem before he comes back to create more problems. He has verbally stated that he will take care of them and promised to get back to me with a schedule. He has not called in 1 week. He has not been back here in 3 weeks. He does not answer my calls.
How much more do you think you would have to pay someone else to complete the job?
I would say another 5 to 6 thousand dollars...
That is just the kitchen and internal home details like painting.
He has also retained another 2000 for metal deck railings that he does not want to give me back...
He is acting irrationally but I suspect that he doesn't have the money as he used it for something else.
You may need to sue him.
I suggest that as a next step you consider paying a lawyer a small fee to send him a letter threatening a lawsuit.
If that doesn't work you can sue him and self-represent in Small Claims Court as paying a lawyer to represent you would be too expensive but paying for the letter would make as you may really scare him into action.
With shady people like that, he may have a company name that is in his wife's name.
My wife already threatened to sue him and he just told her to do so without having a worry in the world.
Does Ontario have laws that can protect home owners like me?
This is unfortunate.
Canada has small claims court?
In a situation like this a lawyer would cost in the thousands?
You would pay the lawyer a couple of hundred dollars for the letter.
But you would not retain the lawyer to sue as that would cost thousands of dollars for sure.
And you are right, he may be judgment proof.
The law is that you sue him unless you can prove he has scammed you deliberately and then perhaps the police would charge him with fraud.