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Ask for supply list and buy yourself

Hired our contractor to paint, repair drywall, switch out light fixtures etc etc to prepare our property to list for sale.  Contract was signed on 9-25-10 and was estimated to for completion on 10-5-10. One month later, work is still not complete. We have gotten nothing but dishonesty, excuses, sob stories, and flat out lies.  This has been the single largest headache we have ever experienced as homeowners.  We should have just done the work ourselves.

Advice:
I would request that a clause be entered into any contract stating that once the completion deadline has been reached, and work has not been completed, the final payment drops by an agreed percentage. Also, never pay up front for anything.  If supplies are needed, do not agree to have the cost built into the quote.  Ask for a supply list from the contractor, and buy the materials yourself.

Zip code: 75067