We are building an addition on our barn for horse stalls. We hired our contractor back in October, he was referred to me by a local feed company who knew of him and his work. Long story short, the list is long for reasons I should have fired him ages ago but never knew how... as I have NEVER in my life of hiring contractors for various work have I EVER had such a horrible experience. As my experiences have always been pretty good I have never had to fire a contractor in the middle of a job. Which brings me to the question of how do you do it?
We were under the agreement/contract that I would pay him half of his fee when he was half way finished (which mind you was in November!- I paid him) and then the final amount when he finished.
He is a weekend builder (which I would advise no one to ever hire after my experience) as he works for a larger pole barn building company during the week so I am hostige to him working on the weekends, now I realize he works to his whim and will to show up. He is close-ish to finished however he hasn't shown up in over a month for more than a total of 4 hours. Again, he told me he would show up today and he isn't here. If he would just SHOW up it would propably take him 3 weekends to finish...but with his lack of attendance it could be May...which isn't an option.
He is the master at evasion (must be a skill 1, in the contractors book of how to screw over their clients). I can't get him to commit to anything. He literally has an excuse for everything. He is biligerent, evasive, argumentative and pretty much a liar as I see it now that I am in month 5 of this project with no end date in site and a list of issues that he has screwed up.
So how do you fire them when they are close to finished? How do you determine the value of what he has accomplished to date and pay him for it but not loss your shirt bringing in the next contractor to finish off his job? I see now that what he has to finish could be costly with another contractor (building the remaining dutch doors, trim work, etc). How do you protect yourself from getting sued by the contractor? Do you get a lawyer and just fire him with the knowledge you are going to get sued for break of contract? I have never fired a contractor and in ways feel it is almost better to just weather the storm and hope he will pull his finger out and get it finished before summer.
Does anyone have any advise, I am so exhausted worrying about this, trying to figure out a way to fire him and not get screwed over in the process.
Thanks for your help.