Dawn called the contractor to see if this could be salvaged. He never returned her calls. So I guess our decision has been made for us… I’ll be setting up meetings with other contractors for our next trip over the Christmas holiday…


A Contract Only A Lawyer Could Love

The contractor, who hasn’t done anything and missed the schedule, is now telling us he won’t put us back on the schedule until we sign a contract. So he faxed over a 16-page document that made no promises about time, cost, or quality, but required a $50,000 deposit immediately, plus a “letter of credit” for $500,000. (The first “estimate” I got was $150,000; the second estimate was $260,000, now it’s $500,000!)

I called my bank, thinking a letter of credit was just a statement that we could afford it, but they said it was an escrow account that the contractor could draw upon at any time!

The contractor refused to sign a mechanic’s lien waiver, added 18% on top of any subcontractors, charged the same rate for skilled and unskilled workers, and prohibited us from doing any work ourselves. It was, in short, completely unacceptable.

I don’t want to have to try to find a new contractor now, but I’d rather change now than in the middle of the job, so I’m not sure what to do.


The iceman cometh

The septic module is moving slowly, and we have to do the perks and probes before the ground freezes. Being from Los Angeles, I just don’t think about problems like the ground freezing. Why are we moving there again?

One annoyance — I tested the well water in July, because I assumed someone would want that, and so I was ready with the results. Well, they do want that, but they can’t use my test because I’m not a “certified water collector.” Apparently, to be qualified to pour water from a sink into a cup requires some kind of state certification. (Can you say “full employment act?”) So we paid $35 to have someone else run the test and, not surprisingly, they got the same result. (I don’t sound bitter, do I?)