The Case of the Terrible Contractor


    Many of you might remember that I had some extensive work done in my house last year. We had the bathroom completely gutted out and rebuilt, created a laundry room, had the floors done, painted, etc. For exactly three months, my entire house was a complete mess and the contractor that we hired to do the work did not help the situation at all because he was completely unreliable and undependable.

    Let me give you guys a little background on how and why we hired him. You see, he had done some work in my brother’s house and he came with recommendations with regards to the kind of work that he did. I will not take that away from him, he is trained as a mason and he does beautiful work when he is not too busy being a lazy bum. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the entire details about the kind of person he was when I contracted him to come into my home.

    The first week that he came to work for me, he just did not show up one day. I called him after a few hours had passed to find out what happened and why he hadn’t come to work. Not only didn’t he answer my call but, he also did not come the next day. Two full days later he called my husband to tell him he was on his way and I found him working on my bathroom when I arrived home from work that afternoon. I immediately told him that I was going to need a phone call if he was not going to be able to make it so that we did not waste our entire day waiting for him to come.

    Let me say that he started working on my house the week after Christmas and did not finish all of the work on my house until March because he continued to take at least two days off per week to do things like drive his friend to the airport or spend the whole day fighting with his girlfriend. Don’t even get me started on the girlfriend, she called him on his cell phone at least twice an hour while he was working and she would keep him on the phone arguing to no end. He even had the nerve to bring her to my house one day while he was working and I had to entertain her while he finished the tiling on my bathroom.

    The straw that broke the camel’s back was when his brother came to visit him while he was working and stole my son’s MP3 player out of the house. Without getting into it completely, let’s just say that his brother was an old family friend who came into some bad times so we discussed the issue and we have since moved on and forgiven him because he has gotten his life together and sought help for his problems. After the MP3 incident I just wanted him to finish the work and get the heck out of my house so I just counted down the days until he finished.

    In the end, all of the work ended up being very good and I was pleased with it for the most part. As a matter of fact, I was actually proud of the fact that I had controlled myself from choking him while he was putting us through so much aggravation. I know many of you are wondering why I even put up with him as long as I did.  The truth is that he charged us a reasonable price for labor and it was what we could afford at the time.  I slammed the door behind him and I basically haven’t seen or heard from him for almost the past two years. That is until his name came up recently when my father was looking for someone to come and paint in his house…

    It finally came out, via my brother, that said contractor had made it clear that he will never return to do any work on my house again because my husband and I were on top of him and WE made his working experience unbearable. Can you believe the gall? After everything he did, including taking food out of my fridge to eat while he was working, telling me what I should and should not be feeding my kids, and just being a general mess, he had the audacity to complain about US! It just goes to show you that ignorance is truly bliss. How about this, Buster, maybe WE don’t ever want YOU stepping foot in our house again!

© 2011, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Michael Ann Riley says

    That really is awful and I’m so sorry you had to go through that!! I have not had a bad experience with contractors but I know they aren’t uncommon! Makes you wonder…

    • Michael Ann, I was prepared for him to be a little unorthodox in his practices since he was giving me a deal as far as price. However, I never expected him to have the nerve to badmouth us after the fact considering all of the unprofessional things he did while he was here.

  2. What you did is what you have to do with contractors. I come from a family of contractors that worked the old Italian school way. They showed up on TIME, they did excellent work and they did not price gauge you. Now a days there is none of that which is a shame. I had my master bath redone and I was on my contractor all the time because I just knew that if I did not the bathroom would never be done in a timely manner. Good for you. You came by to follow but I think my google widget was not working I did not see you on my list would love it if you could come by and add again. THXS

    • Exactly! That is the kind of professional behavior that I would expect from a contractor. It is a shame that there are so many bad contractors now who have no respect for themselves or for their clients. I just came back from following you via GFC. Your widget is finally working now.

  3. Treatntrick says

    So sad this happens to you! How about the agreement you had with them? Do you reimburse them partially?  If not you can pay only for the job done. Thanks for visiting my site and you are not following my blog yet….

  4. BiculturalMama says

    Most people I know have had bad experiences with contractors, including myself. Our guy didn’t show up when he said he would so I wasted my time waiting. Found out he was juggling about 3 other jobs at the same time so instead of just getting ours done which we were told would be a week, it stretched to over a month (it was a small job). Good thing I was able to stay at home and stay on top of him to point out things he had to fix because he took shortcuts. Are there any reliable contractors out there? Please raise your hand.

    • Maria, I’m not sure if there are any reliable contractors out there. I also felt like the job took entirely too long and could have definitely been finished much faster. It was extremely difficult trying to juggle work, the kids, school, and everything else in a house that was a wreck for the three months that he was working here. You make a great point, it is important to be able to supervise these contractors when they are working in your home. You never know what they are up to…

  5. Don’t you kinda wish your brother hadn’t even told you?  I’d be so mad!  Not at your brother, but at the family friend/contractor.  My husband’s a contractor and would never act like that.  NEVER.

    • You know, Daria, he actually ended up doing a great job and the price wasn’t too bad. That is why I was able to overlook a lot of things along the way. The thing that really got to me was the fact that he had the audacity to badmouth my husband and I after the fact. For us, that was the final nail in the coffin and I just had to tell my story about how unprofessional he was.

  6. You should take the case to the BBB or at the very least Angie’s list…make sure he doesn’t torture any other families!!


  7. You left a comment on my blog the other day and wanted to follow it but the GFC button wasn’t working so I FINALLY figured out to do a stand alone button and it works!  Yeah!  So you can follow me now…

    Thank you!

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