Did I use the wrong contractor?

And if so, what do I do now? I live in northern california, & recently had a rear patio poured. After getting four different quotes, I found a contractor that is current on his state contractor’s license – I checked the states web site, as well as found he was not only listed with the better business bureau, but has multiple reviews that are positive on yelp.
What went wrong – I received a letter from the concrete company that supplied him with the material. They sent a certified letter stating my property was under a Twenty day notice of having a lean placed against it. The contractor was required to use my address for delivery by a cement truck. Now – as far as the payment is concerned, I payed for half prior to the delivery of the cement, the second was made four days later, and a final payment on Sept 2. I went out of town for a week, and upon returning I noticed no further finishing touches. The job itself is fine, if i could only get him to answer a few questions. I have made unofficial attempts to contact him – blocked #. No luck. So I left a message on his voice mail (unblocked), & will now log any communication between us, or just myself.
My questions – bare with me-
Will I have to go to small claims court on this guy?
Do I contact the state contractors board/better business bureau?
He’s bonded/insured – does this somehow cover me?
Can I place a lean on his property?
One last thing. According to the accounts payable department of the cement company, he has a previous outstand ballance on a prior job.
I felt that i had done my home work on this, am i wrong? What do i do now????

6 Comments on “Did I use the wrong contractor?

  1. I’m no CA lien expert, but in Arizona all that is missing here’s a lien release. If the concrete company can tell you he has a balance on a prior job – that could be for anything unrelated to his integrity. If they could tell you, and provide you a release, showing they’ve been paid for your job, that could be all that’s left.

    You may want to share your feelings by registered letter to your contractor. That very little green sticker on the envelope gets attention.

    It may only be a simple paperwork error, otherwise by now, you may be getting billed by the concrete company.

    Most of this stuff, in AZ, is useless crap, scares the hell out of people and in the end if someone wants to stiff you, you perfect your lien (paperwork and fees), then you have two years to foreclose on the property. And who wants to do that.

    Lawyers. Fun to poke at – deservedly

  2. I would check with your municipality to see if the lien is legal. You didn’t order or sign for the concrete your contractor did. I’d also put this to the concrete company and ask why they think you should be responsible. I’d also ask them why they sent and sold concrete to someone who had an outstanding balance that they were concerned about.

    Bonding may cover you but you may also have to consult a lawyer if you can’t get it resolved any other way. I would definitely contact the better business bureau so others do not get taken by the contractor and the cement company

    I think you are getting screwed by two poorly run businesses–your contractor and the cement company

  3. His bonding company might help, as might the licensing board. For now, write down every thing you have done, all calls, all letters, etc. And then file a claim in small claims.
    The concrete company has every right to put a lien on your house and you are responsible for paying it. Sad, but true as the concrete is at your house.

    Good luck.

  4. Report it to the BBB,plus go to small claims court an show them the evidence.Taking your responsibility out of the problem.If the judge rules in your favor,which they’ll after you show your evidence.The responsibility will then fall to him.It may cost a few bucks but I’d do it.Filing a small claim is fairly cheap.Usually around fifty bucks in my state.But go online an make sure that the BBB has all your information an ask them for a direct investigation.

  5. I would seek advice from an attorney on this one. Sometimes you can get fairly low cost consultations through the local bar association. This is a case of really knowing your legal rights and their legal rights, just guessing after consideration of other opinions seems risky. And I would definitely file with the BBB and any state agency that might care.

  6. Notify him in writing about the cement company’s threat and if he doesn’t respond call the state contractors board and see what they’ve to say. The cement company could possibly put a lien on your property but they cannot collect anything unless you sold the property.

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