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  • Writer's pictureNTR

Beware of Contractor

There are many an honest painter and some that are, well, not so. If you've ever given upfront money to a paint contractor and never heard back then you know what I'm talking about. The laws of Texas kinda contradict correct ethics. Let me explain. If you give money to a contractor before he/she begins work and you never hear from them again you will most likely never see that money. You can take the contractor to small claims (less than $10,000) and will probably win your law suit if you show documentation of payment and what the payment was to be used for. The problem is, that in Texas, most people are "judgment exempt" meaning you will have a difficult time getting your money. Now here's something that gets under my skin. If a contractor provides a service and the person receiving that service doesn't pay then the contractor can file a "theft of services" charge against you. You can be put in jail plus pay a fine of up to two and a half times of the fee for the service. Looks as though contractors have the upper hand.

To make a long story short, never give money to a contractor before they begin work. My thinking is simple - if you are in business but don't have the cash flow on hand you should have enough credit established to begin a project. As a painting and remodeling contractor I will ask for a draw after each phase of work is complete. I always make an agreement to a draw schedule with the owner before I begin the project explaining what each phase consists of. This way the owner has peace of mind and I can put beans on the table during big jobs. I normally don't ask for any money until the job is complete and client is happy.

Hope this helps you.

Have a blessed day!

Victoria and Mike

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