Can I just Fire my contractor?

Well you are not going to have to tell me how foolish and ignorant I have been, but here is my story, in short form.

We hired the “roofers” that were working on our neighbors roof. They had shown up everyday, seemingly doing a good job.

We got a contract written with them, gave them a retainer fee,. And then everything fell apart…

We assumed it seemed reasonable to give them a retainer fee for the work they were going to do. So we gave them HALF of the money upfront…First mistake… it seems… Didn’t hear from them for over a week. They didn’t even return our phones calls… Occasionally we would receive a text message saying they would be at our home tomorrow, never showing up for the job… Lie after lie…

We have been very patient with these guys. Finally they show up 2 weeks later and strip about 1/3 of the shingles off the roof , then they take off for lunch and never return… OMG we went up on the roof and the FELT was laid over staples and nails, even candy wrappers. . They covered TWO holes about 4" x 4" with just FELT and left it …

I want these ROOFERS “FIRED” . so here are my questions:

Can I fire them even though we have a contract with them, that doesn’t have an ending date?

And can anyone offer advice as to how I might get at least a portion of my money back?

Just call me ignorant, I have a trusting heart and totally thought that a “written contract” and a “down payment” receipt would be enough to get these guys motivated to do a good job… This is the real kicker, we offered to pay them DOUBLE the money they asked for to get a GOOD JOB done…

Oh my, we have totally been taken advantage of here…


Thanks, Donna

I’m no attorney, so it is always wise to seek counsel before breaking a contract.

My answer to your question lies in the contract. There “should” be a performance clause that would allow you to terminate the contract. Lacking that language along with the trouble you are having, go to your contractor license board and file a complaint. Inform the original contractor in writing that you are terminating their contract for non performance. Find another roofer to do the job and sue the bad contractor for the deposit in small claims court. Very important that you document all the phone calls, emails, etc that you made trying to get them to do the job. Document the weather conditions. Have the new contractor document the sloppy work they performed. Note any damage done to your home due to the delay. Be prepared to defend your actions if the contractor is a jerk.

Another way to get the job finished with the original contractor is to find a friendly attorney that would write a letter “recommending” that the contractor finish by a firm date (you name the date) or face future legal action. At this point I would suggest you have a consultant document the corrections needed to make sure the job is done properly. The consultant often can be the local building inspector when the system is applied improperly such as an application over the holes you mentioned.

You are like many home owners that try to do the right thing and have it backfire on them. Roofing, like any trade, is a business based on trust and the written word. If one or the other fails, it all fails. Treat your dealings with the contractor on a business basis, not on a personal, touchy, feely basis. Get a price quote from several contractors, ask for references and enter into an agreement with the one that offers you the best installation, service and reasonable price. Do review their contract and make sure it has a performance clause. Pay the minimum down payment based on local law not a penny more. Oh, if you think they did a wonderful job and feel the need to give them a bonus, do it outside of the contract after the job is done. Often a good reference is worth more than bonus money.
Good luck getting your roof completed. I know others on this board will comment with good advice, so stand by.

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You payed them double and you payed half up front.
Wow, what a great payIng job!!!
I can not even imagine making that much profit.
The cheapest roof around here is 5 thousand dollars. And that’s a super small house.
Someone offers me 10 thousand for the job.
And then I flake out and don’t show up???
Something just isn’t adding up here…

Something else, we cover giant holes with underlayment all the time. Sometimes nails also get covered that we missed.
That doesnt mean we are not going to go back and replace that wood and that doesn’t mean we are going to cover that left over nail with shingles.
It means we are covering and protecting the inside of your house while we are re-roofing.

But did you really hire a professional roofing contractor??

Sounds like just some fly by night laborers
Who spent all the money on their past due bills and they don’t have one red cent left over to buy the material.

Hire a real roofing contractor next time and you will see the REAL price for the roof and you surely will not be offering them double.
You will be asking for them to come down
on the price…

I don’t expect a dime from my clients until I am 100% done with the job and they are 100 % happy!!

Thank you Don for the advice… I really don’t know what is wrong with these guys… Honestly, I have been marred for 35 years and this is the “first” time we ever had to hire a contractor for anything… We do most of the work inside ourselves… We certainly made a mistake with these guys… We did get a contract, did ask for a business license number… Watched them as they did the roofing on our next door neighbors house… Seemingly they were doing a good job… "We started the contract on JAN 17,

According to the sheriff… the only way we can fire them is if they “abandon the job”… Wow… if they come 2 hours a week, we don’t seem to have any grounds to fire them???

I am at a lose at this point…

Roof _lover

We thought we hired professionals… they did the roof next door, hired by Fema…“supposedly”, They were there everyday, we watched them regularly…They gave us a business licenses number… though we didn’t check to make sure is was legit… Perhaps that was a dumb mistake

We bought all the materials… We were just paying them for their labor…

Don I wanted to thank you again for the counsel

I am going to start keeping track of everything… I have already pulled out a calendar and my phone and I have filled it in…This is so ridiculous to have to deal with all this stress, all I ask is do your job, stay in contact, give me reasons why you are not coming. return my calls… etc etc… I simply believe in integrity…

Just for the record… These guys have been here for approximately 8 hours total since (Jan 17th.)…(coming only 1 day a week) each time leaving for lunch and never returning…It is almost as if they already knew the "rules’ in which they had to play by… sorry for just a little more grumbling… It is raining today… hopefully tomorrow will be a better day…

Anyway… just wanted to thank you for the good counsel…

Just fire them and look for other Roofing Contractors. The inconvenience they can give you is incomparable if compensated