Thursday, September 25, 2008
Sucker Punched List by Our General Contractor
Last Fall we had hired a general contractor through a contract administrator. Though it was a painful process, construction on our home at last proceeded to the final punch list in August. We had several problems with the general contractor throughout the process. But when he got the punch list of things left to do, he bailed. That was on August 29th, the third anniversary of Katrina. The contractor, Douglas Marshall Blow of Webco Gulf Coast Construction, said he was picking up his tools because Gustave was on its way, but looking back it was clear that he had no plans to return. Then when the power was out after Gustave, he texted me and said I'd soon be hearing from subcontractors because he hadn't paid them, and the contractor said he would not do the punch list. Turns out the money I had been paying to him lately was going to purposes other than paying the subcontractors. So essentially as part of our contract, if he had honored it, meant that we owed him $18K. The subcontractors who we've heard from are owed about $18K. So essentially, he gets to walk away from our contract with very little penalty as far as I can see, and while we have to pay the $18K, there is much on our house that is not finished. Moreover, many things were poorly constructed and installed, so for today example we had to pay a roofer to fix the roof vents that were never attached properly. We decided we probably didn't want a leaky roof after all. Because our contractor breached the contract, we have little recourse down the road if things go wrong.