Contractor too close
Q: We hired the husband of my friend's daughter to do a few handyman chores and some painting around the house. He recently got his contractor license. The problem is, my husband is nitpicking everything this poor guy does. A lot of the work has been redone once or even twice, and my husband still is not happy. I don't think the work is questionable, and I just want peace for the sake of my friendship. Please help!
A: Oh, this isn't a good situation at all. I applaud you for wanting to help this new contractor get his business started, and I admire his work ethic. But for the sake of everyone's sanity, the faster these projects end, the better. At this point, you're not helping him.
Since he has a license, he's obviously interested in doing business the right way, which will help protect both himself and his clients. In many states, it isn't easy - to get a license you have to take a written test about construction laws and business, provide documentation of insurance and references, and prove you have experience.
Has your husband behaved this way in the past with other contractors or workmen? If so, you made a poor decision bringing an inexperienced contractor into your house. If not, this contractor may not have a lot of experience in the tasks you assigned, which means he probably should have backed away from the job.
Hopefully he presented you with a contract estimate of the projects, or gave you a time and materials contract. If not, you should have asked. Regardless, to be fair to him, yourself, and your friendship, let him know you're accepting the work and have him give you a final invoice. Pay it immediately, and move on.
Next time, hire someone who's not so close to you, and check references on the type of work you need. Or, have your husband do it. Good luck to all of you.
Jennifer Adams is a designer, author, and TV personality. To contact her: