I haven't slept since Christmas Eve. I can't. I go to bed and stew, wake up multiple times throughout the night and stew, and am up stewing every morning at least an hour before the alarm goes off.
The reason why I am stewing is because of the basement. On Christmas Eve, I finally received what I'd been asking for since October - a tally of the expenses to date. I didn't really need that tally, because I had a quote for the entire job. However, in October one of the subs told me something that made me feel suspicious.
The bill I received for the framing, drywall and electrical (which is still hasn't been fixed) exceeds the entire quote already. It doesn't include tile, trim or the extensive millwork I was planning. It also doesn't take into account that the tile is still covered in grout haze, which is curing (getting harder to fix) every day.
And let's remember that the job was supposed to have taken a month to six weeks - five and a half months ago.
Shortly after New Years, I went to see a lawyer to discuss my options. He confirmed that the quote I was given is legally binding. His recommendation is to have a trusted contractor come to give me a quote for how much the work that has been done is worth, less the cost of the corrections to the electrical and tile and pay that out. It may be higher than the original quote, but it is unlikely to be nearly as high as what is being asked now.
I emailed the contractor yesterday to tell him his work at my house is at an end, and that I'd mail him a cheque once I had calculated what I owed. I honestly don't know if he set out to take advantage of me, or if things just got out of control. As he is the spouse of a coworker, I am hoping it is the latter. Either way, he has caused huge problems for me. Having somebody come in to take over - fix his mistakes - is going to cost a lot more than it would if he'd just done the job right the first time.
A friend's husband is a contractor. He is one of the three that I interviewed before the job started. I was leaning towards going with him, in fact; but his quote came in quite a bit higher than this one's. I realize now it was a more accurate, honest reflection of what the job should cost. He's on vacation right now, but has agreed to call me when he is back. At this point, I suspect I'll just hire him to finish the room and get it up to code. The millwork (the highlight of the room) will probably have to wait until I've recovered from this financial hit.