The Chef who Spit in your Soup

One of my favorite contractors told me the story about his uncle Andy who was a mason.  Andy would typically build his chimneys with a layer of glass midway in the flue.  If the customer  had paid in full, he carefully broke and removed the glass with no-knowledge of this by the owner.soup

However, when customers who did not pay in full would build a fire and soon discover that smoke would billow throughout the house as a result of the blockage in the flue that could not be seen.  When prompted for repair by the miserly owner, he would demand the final payment-then break the glass and naturally everything would be solved.

The point of the story is that there are many means that contractors can employ to bring the owner annoyance and worse. It’s not a “power” play but simply difficult for builders to have much recourse when owners do not pay .  The builders work is in the house or building. Yes we’ve had builders and subs remove sinks and doors in protest to non-payment or other misunderstanding, some have filed liens and even taken owners to small claims court.

But this is really avoidable with consistent communication and regular billing / meetings so that all parties understand what is being done and what is being paid.

We naturally have a contractual relationship with the owner, but sometimes we have to broker peace between the Owner and Builder – and help the Owners’ understand that certain behaviors they exhibit can be counter-productive. So yes, we save some owners from themselves….then again some cannot and don’t want to be saved. These tough nuts, we occasionally refer to attorneys for advice,  or at the least a local bar to loosen up and reconsider their positions!  Before it gets to that point, please call Steve we can help-914 980 5532.