What To Do If A Contractor Is Taking Too Long: Government Suggests

When a contractor spends too much time completing a project, it can get frustrating, especially if you have made other plans based on the project’s completion.

What to do if a contractor is taking too long? If a contractor is taking too long, you need to schedule in your calendar when to check on progress. With each contact, ensure that you both agree on specific dates for the completion of the different tasks.

The action you take for a contractor that is taking too long should be determined by the quality of the contractor’s work, how much delay you are experiencing, and the reason for the delay. Depending on the nature of your contract, issues are bound to come up, delaying the contractor’s output. These factors put together are what should guide your next step.

Advice on dealing with a contractor that is taking too long

You might need to get another contractor depending on how much the deadline has been exceeded. Mild delays are expected, and should not always lead to contract termination,

You should take another look at the contract signed. If the contractor has exceeded the agreed waiting time then you need to get a new contractor. The period agreed upon by the contractor determines how much time is too long to get to work or get work done. It is important to note that some delays are inevitable while dealing with contractors.

An estimate of 10% – 20% delay is normal, based on some circumstances. Some situations like equipment malfunctions, subcontractor problems, material quality issues might be out of the contractor’s control. Hence, a delay is imminent, and these issues can cause minimal to huge damage if not properly handled.

It is better to make a realistic time estimate for the entire project. You must also consider that a realistic period for your project may reduce any panic of an overlay from your contractor. Projects given to contractors mostly take more time than originally planned.

However, the delay period can be minimal. How long is too long for your contractor to deliver? Depending on the project, an estimate of 50% -100% delay is too long. It may be a reflection of the contractor’s incompetence or inability to deliver on the job.

Constantly supervising and checking on your contractor and the work in progress may help to avoid too much delay. But in a case where you already have a contractor taking too long, you should hold a good conversation with your contractor. Sometimes, you may be the cause of the delay.

Once you find out the reason for the delay, you may be able to fix it. Your conversation should include revisiting your goals as well as monetary considerations. Remind your contractor that you have a common goal, and it is a priority to achieve it. A typical case of mismanagement by your contractor may ruin your project so you may have to get a new contractor.

Can you sue a contractor for taking too long?

In the most severe cases like when a contractor abandons your job, you may sue. However, there are certain measures to take before it gets to the point of taking legal action.

A subtle reminder of the contract binding the agreement will make the contractor conscious of the job. Discussing the possible issues surrounding the job and the contractor’s attitude towards it may help to bring about solutions. It is better to settle disputes with contractors amicably through dialogue.

If the contractor’s slowness persists, a complaint letter may be issued according to an official website of the US Government. This letter should be addressed seriously but without insults or rudeness. Hence, the contractor’s attention is drawn to the inevitable effects of his delay.

The contractor should not be triggered by foul language, but he must be gingered to rise to the occasion and do a better job. Skillful writing may help to bring your contractor’s attention back to the project since he may be busy with some other clients’ jobs. Posting public reviews and complaints on the contractor’s poor job may be a good step in dealing with a bad contractor.

If the issue causing the delay is from you, you must take the best steps in addressing them. You can sue your contractor if dialogue does not solve the problem. However, this step may trigger a case from the contractor.

That is, you should be prepared to pay exactly how much you owe after reviewing the contract for termination.  Suing your contractor may also expose you to new issues of getting a better contractor.

Hence, you must prioritize getting the project done well, and in good time, before taking any action. When you are suffering a loss in your project as a result of your contractor’s delay, you can hire an attorney and sue. This should be your last resort as it is time-taking and expensive.

Is it normal for contractors to be late?

Yes, it is expected for contractors to be late. No matter how professional the contractor is, certain unforeseen circumstances are beyond his control. It may be unrealistic to expect a perfect construction without a hitch or delay. This is why proper timing and planning of a project should make room for a few setbacks.

Nevertheless, when the project exceeds the estimated period, the contractor must be called to order. If your construction takes twice the expected period, that is too late. At this point, you may have spent more than expected and incurred other losses. This is too much delay and should be avoided at all costs.

There are many reasons why some delays are inevitable. In the quest for a good construction job, the contractor must ensure the proper working of sub-contractors; the materials in use should be of great quality; transportation from to and fro the site must be supervised; enough money to sponsor the working must be provided.

Considering these and many other issues, we can make excuses for a contractor’s delay. Bad roads, searching for high-quality materials, dealing with subcontractors are the many reasons why a contractor may be late.

When your contractor is always late, regularly absent from work, or unavailable, this is a bad sign. Those are evidence of a bad contractor and for your construction to go well, you must get a new contractor if dialogue does not solve it.

The longer the delay, the longer it takes to get the project done. An incompetent contractor will most likely cost you a lot more than your entire project. While some delay is unavoidable, some are unnecessary and will cost you much. Take necessary steps to protect your construction and make your contractor deliver.

Here is a table that indicates how others have dealt with delays that were happening with their contractors.

How to deal with a contractor that is always latePercentage of Total Responses
If your contractor is always delaying work, have a clause that states that covers fees for delays.31%
You should fire your contractor that is constantly and hire another as soon as possible.43%
Make sure to have several milestones and a due date for each one so that delays will happen less with your contractor14%
Have a meeting with your slow contractor to discuss how to prevent delays.12%
data derived from various home renovation forums

Can I fire my contractor?

You can fire your contractor in situations where he or she breaches the contract. Because of the unnecessary overlay of your project, you may be paying above your budget. Also, you may not be achieving your set goals. These setbacks may require you to fire your contractor and get another.

Your contract may have a termination clause that allows you to fire based on certain terms. However, in the absence of a termination clause, a delay of two times the expected duration is too long. This is a valid reason for firing your contractor.

If your contractor has to get things done in two weeks, and nothing happens in four weeks, this is a sign of a bad contractor. if you can also give proof of violations; whether of building codes or the contract by your contractor, it is easier to fire him or her.

However, for many reasons, firing your contractor is not the best step. First, it puts a hold on your project before you get another contractor. any deposit already made may not be refunded and you have to deal with that. Your contractor may file a legal suit asking you to pay for damages if you don’t have a solid backup or client protection. This is why you need to officially fire your contractor in writing.

Hence, try to dialogue first and reach a workable agreement. A good conversation may result in a remedy for the situation. You do not want to go through the stress of getting another contractor, he or she may just be worse than the former. A 10% -20% delay may be your best bet. You need legal backup in any case of termination.

How to motivate a slow contractor

There are several ways to motivate your contractor and maximize productivity. Contractors are very relevant to trade services that cut across different fields. The need for special skill sets has made the employment of this special labor popular. This means using a contractor is very important and sometimes inevitable in various work fields. They are there to make the work easier.

For this reason, you not only need a contractor but a contractor that can deliver. As a client, you need to create suitable situations to ensure your contractor is taking the project seriously. The performance of your contractor will determine the value and progress of your work.

First, proper orientation and introduction of your contractor to the existing system are important. This is to prepare him or her for the work ahead. Learning the values, history, and philosophy will give the contractor a sense of belonging to the firm.

The expectations for the period of the contract must be clear and realistic to avoid setbacks. There should be an agreement with your contractor about how well and with how much time the project can materialize. You need to win the trust of the contractor.

Building relationships on accountability and trust will improve the productivity of your contractor. It is also very important to provide fair pay and adhere strictly to the written contract binding the project. Good pay is great motivation for your contractor, he knows he is doing a good job.

Generally, building a good relationship with your contractor takes time and effort. Investing in the relationship will boost his or her attitude towards work and unnecessary delay can be avoided.

How to tell a contractor they are no longer needed

A well-constructed email will be perfect for this purpose. It is not advisable to place a call through. After a dialogue, you can determine whether to still work with your contractor or not. Once a good dialogue proves unproductive, you can lay your contractor off over a properly written email.

This email should not contain threats or insults. You must be as concise as possible using powerful but good language to address the issue without triggering the contractor. You should clearly state why you no longer need his or her service. Thank the contractor for their time.

In most cases that require you to lay off your contractor, you need to hire an attorney for any future legal actions the contractor may bring against you. The termination should also be in writing to avoid any miscommunication or mincing of words later. Provide honest feedback on the work already done and thank him or her for their time.

You do not have to say so much. Just let the contractor know in your email that you no longer require their services. Writing too much may cause you to complain bitterly or use hurtful words. This can be used against you and you may have to pay for damages.

You must also remember that your reason for the termination must be valid. If you do not have a good reason, you may incur heavy charges on yourself in legal situations. It is also crucial that everything is documented in writing. You must have also held up your part of the deal to be clear of any allegations or a breach of contract. You need to make sure to part on good terms with the contractor.

In a nutshell, do not spoil a good relationship. It is better to end on a good note. Also, be ready to take responsibility if it backfires as it does in most cases.

Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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