“I’ve been in construction business since I was a kid. My father ran a contracting business and I’m running one now. No matter how careful we are in picking our customers, there are always some of them that try to not pay last invoice. In each proposal we have to build-in amount for unpaid invoices. Depending on the job, but it’s between 5-15%. Aside from financial hit there is also an emotional toll of not being paid for our hard work. Our work is not easy and all of our guys are honest hard working people. When owner decides not to pay and knowing that our options are limited, it also humiliating for all of us.”
Josephe Ferrante, Ferrante Coberling Construction
“HC:….I’ve met dishwashers, painters, architects, glass installers, marble installers, drapery installers, like my dad was, who you refused to pay when they finished the work that you asked them to do.
We have an architect in the audience who designed one of your clubhouses at one of your golf courses. It’s a beautiful facility. It immediately was put to use. And you wouldn’t pay what the man needed to be paid, what he was charging you to do…
DT: Maybe he didn’t do a good job and I was unsatisfied with his work…”
“Anyone who has ever done any amount of work as a construction contractor or subcontractor or represented them in collections cases has learned from hard experience that it can be all but impossible to get paid for one’s work. If an owner disputes any details of the work, the contractor may go months or more without any source of revenue to cover the contractor’s outlays for labor and materials. Further down the food chain, if a contractor is using its revenue from one job to pay bills on another, as is often the case, a sub who has helped the contractor complete a job may suddenly find that the money has disappeared while the contractor has moved on to bigger and better jobs. For a contractor or sub without significant cash reserves, not being paid on a large job can lead to paying bills on one job out of advances from the next. Going unpaid on a second or third job then can stretch resources to the breaking point, resulting in a contractor’s undoing.
Historically, unpaid contractors and subs have found some recourse in ….. Mechanics’ Lien Law, which allows for a quick pre-judgment lien to prevent the improved property from being sold out from under the unpaid party. However, even if the contractor or sub is able to meet the short deadlines of the Mechanics’ Lien Law, most developers now require contractors and subs to sign mechanic’s lien waivers before they are permitted to start work. As a result, the mechanics’ lien is an increasingly unavailable remedy.”
“…there is no help for the small guy: there are many projects where budget doesn’t allow client to pay for legal help. Some of them have to pay much more in legal fees at the end which could be easily avoided with better contract at the beginning….
…. if there is a record of what happened during the project, it makes everybody’s life easier in case of any dispute….
…. we had potential clients approach us for help with their client that owes them $20,000. Between our fees, court fees, and possibility of wining the case and still not being able to collect the payment, it didn’t made sense to pursue legal action.”
Rosslyn Hummer, Attorney
“I’ve been working with developers on large projects for years . Unfortunately, there is, from time to time, a situation where money is not as secure as it’s supposed to be. It happens that somebody takes the money and doesn’t deliver…
I’ve been postponing a bathroom remodel at my home for 5 years now, because I’m afraid that I will be stuck in construction for a year and maybe, if successful, have a bathroom at the end. There is also a possibility that it will not be done in a year. If I had a tool like vineonbrick.com, it would be much easier for me to launch this project…it helps both sides, homeowner and contractor…I’ll be happy to pay 3%-5% for service like this…Please make it fast, so I can remodel my bathroom”
“If client doesn’t want to put money in the escrow it is a sign for me to be cautious . And if I am in a position to choose, maybe I don’t want to work with that client……
…..if client doesn’t have full amount ready, he should not start the project for his own sake.”
Olga Tochilinskaya, Interior Designer