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Tips for Dealing with a Contractor Who Did a Bad Job

You hired a contractor to help you remodel your home and, unfortunately, the job he did was sub-par. How do you handle this? How do you deal with someone who hasn’t lived up to his end of the deal?

You might be mad, and you might want your contractor’s social media accounts to start lighting up like a billboard in Vegas with negative reviews so that he knows you aren’t satisfied—but resist the urge to give in to your anger. Don’t fly off the handle and start leaving negative testimonials online just yet. For now, it’s best to keep the matter private.

Talk to Your Contractor

Go over the contract with your contractor. Ask him specific questions about the problems you’ve encountered or noticed. Definitely ask about any damage to your home that has resulted from his work on your house. Be respectful (but not placating), and write down all of his answers. Take him seriously.

Get Another Opinion on the Contractor’s Work

Have another contractor do a walk-through with you, and get his opinions about the information your original contractor gave to you. You might want to do this a couple of times with different inspectors.

Notify the Contractor in Writing

If it turns out that your contractor has violated the contract, notify the contractor in writing of the specific violations. Ask him to come back and complete the work that he agreed to do and to meet the terms of the agreement that you both signed.

Hopefully this is all you need to do to get the matter resolved in your favor. If not…

Seek Professional Help with Your Contractor

If your letter is ignored or he insists on being paid more to correct his original work, talk to your local licensing board and to a lawyer about which routes of action are available to you. You might have to sue the contractor to either do the work or pay to have the damages repaired.

Follow the instructions given to you by the licensing board and your lawyer.

The reason we suggested you keep all of this under wraps so far is to keep you protected in the event that your best course of action is to sue your contractor. The last thing you need if that happens is evidence of you talking badly about the contractor before anything could be resolved. That could hurt your case if you need to file one.

Once the (pardon the pun) dust has settled and things have come to some sort of conclusion, you can go public with your experience.

Going Public with a Contractor Problem: The Dos

File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and your local chamber of commerce.

If the contractor has pages on Yelp,, or Google Business, you can (unless you are bound otherwise by the terms of a lawsuit) leave negative reviews there.

You can talk about your own experiences on your blog and social media profiles.

Going Public with a Contractor Problem: The Don’ts

Don’t start up pages for these contractors that don’t already exist, just so that you can leave even more negative comments about him. That just makes you look bad.

Do not embellish, no matter how much better it will make you feel. Talk only about the facts and how you felt during the process.

Keep your comments limited to things that you feel safe admitting in public.

PRO TIP: If your contractor handles the problem professionally and positively, make sure you follow all of these same steps but in a positive way: Write glowing reviews and testimonials, make sure the BBB and Chamber of Commerce know about your good experience, etc.

Good luck!

Erin Steiner is a freelance writer who writes about a variety of topics for an array for websites including

Are you looking for a contractor? Then you should check out the ones on, be sure to read their reviews and compare them to their competitors!

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