December 1, 2023

DIY Solver

I'm lovin Home Improvement

Home Remodeling: Get It All In Writing

8 min read

Tracy Stolz, a 60-year-old technology sales executive, hired a contractor to renovate her kitchen, laundry room and first-floor bathroom, in Potomac, Md. Before long, the contractor wasn’t showing up, and subcontractors either performed shoddy work or seemed directionless. She’d been expecting to scrape by without a kitchen or laundry room for three months. But that  stretched into four months,  then five. Eventually, Stolz hired an attorney to negotiate an end to the home renovation contract.

“I was warned that if the contract wasn’t properly terminated, the contractor could put a mechanics’ lien on my property,” she says. Stolz ended up hiring a new remodeling company to finish the work — and paying about $20,000 more than she had planned. In the process, she learned that the first contractor hadn’t paid some subcontractors and had ordered some wrong items — on her dime.

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