One of the things that you learn after you have owned a house is that it constantly requires upkeep. Whether it is in need of repairs or because your taste changes, there are countless moments that arise where you will need the help of a contractor. Unfortunately, one of my first experiences with making a change to my home was a terrible one, which resulted in a destroyed lawn at the hands of an unskilled and unscrupulous contractor. If I had had bond insurance, I could have easily recovered from this fiasco, but it took me months to finally get my money back because I had no way of holding the company accountable. So, to vent my frustration, I would like to share my story of that mistake.
It Starts With a Dream
Having lived in my house for a few years, my desire for a patio in the backyard came on quite suddenly. Debating it for a few months, I eventually mustered up the will to contact a contractor for an estimate. I was referred to a company from a friend who had had some lawn work done in the past. The company came highly recommended, and so I had faith that my experience would go equally as well. But, I was wrong.
A Dream Deferred
To this day, I have no idea why the situation turned out as bad as it did. One day, seemingly out of the blue, the contractor just stopped coming to work. My backyard was a mess with concrete and dirt spread throughout the whole lawn, and I had no idea where to begin fixing the mess. Whenever I tried to reach the contractor, he would come up with excuse after excuse. Eventually, he stopped answering my calls altogether. I had made the mistake of paying for most of the work up front, thinking that he would have finished quickly. So, when he stopped working on the patio, I had lost my initial investment, and I found it too difficult to quickly come up with some more money to hire someone else to finish his botched job. Had I had bond insurance, I could have dealt with this situation much faster, but my lack of foresight resulted in my living with the mess for nearly nine months thanks to Chicago’s beautiful winter weather.
The End of the Story
After nine months of trying to get the contractor to come and finish my patio, I was able to finally get him to come to court, where my lawsuit proved successful, and I was able to recoup my investment. Did I have to put up with a terrible lawn for a long time? Definitely. This would not have been the case had I looked into, or even known about, bond insurance, which would have reimbursed me soon after the contractor stopped coming to work. So, the takeaway from this mistake is that while cutting corners on investments may seem like a good idea in the short term, you may ultimately save yourself time and frustration by going that extra step and getting bond insurance for whatever home project you would like to tackle.