Called the sweep company and said I wanted to go ahead with the project. New problem: they want me to pay them in advance for 75% of the cost of the stove and materials. They are a small family business. If anything happens to them I'd be out more than $6K with no recourse. Already went through a smaller version of that a year ago when a company shut down due to the owner's long COVID.
Wow, that’s a lot up front money, 75%. We couldn’t do that.
We were taken advantage of over a year ago, ripped off is more appropriately stated. So called contractor we hired to have exterior work on our home done. He took nearly $17k up front, did shotty work, left every part of the work unfinished and not to code. He never got the permit worked out. My husband had to go back and forth from FL to CA during the time the work was being done and while gone the contractor stopped working. We had to get the States Attorneys Office to investigate. This contractor, Ernest W. Adams, aka “Sketter,” lied about everything. He showed us, and five other neighbors he worked for, credentials that were fabricated and all false. The buiding inspector and States Attorney Investigator found that the guy had a record with over thirty arrests, even served prison time for doing the same thing in OK, TX, AL and FL. They issued a warrant for his arrest about six months ago, but he’s still at large.
We’re out $17k plus, more like 20k, and all of the work he started and did, it’s all wrong and has to be redone. He caused over $60k worth of damages to our home. We now have a “real” contractor, and we’re waiting for the architect and engineer to finish the plans for all the roof extensions, and get the permits. Our new contractor started work months ago, and he will not take a dime up front. We had all new windows installed, which we paid for the windows (160 mph, hurricane rated) and had them delivered. Our contractor installed them and at the half way point took a draw of half his labor. He is finishing the brick work on the last window now, and says "when everything is complete and passes inspections, then I will request final payment for the window work only."
In the meantime, he is doing other intensive work, like redoing the fireplace, and getting things ready for our new stove iinstall, installing new interior doors, redoing the ceilings, etc, with NO MONEY up front. He says that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Some contractor’s take a small upfront amount, but usually no more than half. 75% is a lot I think. I would make certain you validate this contractors credentials. You can verify is licensure and insurance up front, for one thing. All payments in a taceable format, like a personal check or bank check. Any contractor is supposed to provide you with a copy of their license, insurance and credential documents, like liability forms, business card, etc, at the time of contract, and yes a valid contract. Due diligence on your part. We learned the hard way.