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A home contractor says I have to provide the electricity for his equipment. Is this so?

I hired a contractor to do some exterior remodeling and paid him up front. However, weeks went by and no work was done. When I finally was able to reach him, he said that he did come to do the work but could not find an exterior electrical outlet in which to plug his power tools. I asked if he had a portable gasoline powered generator. Instead od answering directly, he indicated that it was my responsibility to provide the electric power he needs to run his tools. I work during the day, so to meet his demand would require me to leave the house open to a man I don't really know. Besides, my house isn't wired for 220 V equipment - he'd end up blowing the circuit breaker. He said unless I find some way to give him access to my electric system, he cannot do the job. My actual question is am I expected to provide electric power for a contractor?

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    this is something he should have mentioned before you gave him any money. If he has worked many jobs before like I have then he should have known as rule of thumb to first thing you look for and know is where the power source is if there is one. this type of thinking should have been secod nature to him if he truly is an experienced contractor. This is something he should have taken into consideration before he accepted the job unless he was too hyped up on recieving the money first. when you signed the contract he should have put an estimated time of completion and a start date on the contract, if he by chance falls out of compliance with that contract you will have the upper hand when filing a civil suit. I hope you got a reciept for any money issued. did you call the better business bureau and find out if there are any complaints against this contractor or his firm ? did you do your homework first ? HE SHOULDN'T NEED 220 FOR HIS POWER SINCE MOST TOOLS TODAY WORK ON 110 POWER just to get started quickly i would allow him to run an extension from an outlet in your house and run it outside a window so he can get some power and get to work. this to me is somewhat shoddy and I would study the contract to find any loopholes that would help you un-bind your commitment before he starts any work. Make sure you take before and after photos as well as stages photos and time and date all photos. another alternative would be you supply power to the contractor for a deduction of $100. of the contract price and allow him to run extension wires through the windows on both sides of the house; bring the windows down as far as possible and find a way to lock them in plce to prevent them from opening when you are not home perhaps this will save you time in court and time lost on the job. treat the situation with tenderness remember he has your money and its propably enough to go to another state

  • 1 decade ago

    for your own safety NEVER PAY UPFRONT. The fact he was paid upfront, and has yet to provide any work, none the less contact you and be forthcoming with the "power" issue is pretty scary.

    This is not a simple yes/no answer, as each situation and contractor is different. Good contractors will discuss power, as if renting a generator is need, it will ultimately affect the cost of the job and his profits. He was wrong in assuming outlets were outside, and should have known the most reasonable approach to the job should have been a generator (renting a generator is not that expensive, and the fact he would offer to refuse work on your house as opposed to renting one to complete the job speaks volumes)

    I'd honestly be more concerned about getting your money back, or if he completes the job properly if he actually starts the job.

    In the future, don't pay upfront, and discuss everything before the contract is written. And when hiring a contractor never go with the lowest price, nor the highest price.

  • 1 decade ago

    You have a bad contractor. He should have told you what he needed as soon as he found you didn't have outside power. Waiting for you to say something is a sure sign of a bad contractor.

    Any respectable contractor would have a generator or would tell you up front what he needed from you. Did he look at the house? He should have seen that you didn't have an outlet when he estimated the work.

    Good luck getting things done the way you want. You have no leverage because you paid him up front. Maybe he'll come through for you. Does a neighbor have an outlet he can use?

    Don't leave the house open when you are gone.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, you probably should provide 120 VAC access. Most homes have outdoor outlets he can hook up to. Check and make sure.

    The guy sounds like a dead-*** to me...not showing up, and not saying anything to you.....everyone waiting just because of this electricity bullsh!t. He doesn't sound like a pro by any means to me. He should communicate with you what his needs are and so on. What other tidbits is he going to not mention along the way? I'd think about getting someone else if you can. Otherwise find the plug and bite the bullet.

    If you don't have an outdoor outlet, run an extension cord for him somehow.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Nope - you do not own the house until November 19. All you can do is ask that the contractors stop work while they take a smoke break - but don't expect to close for an additional few weeks.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, you are expected to provide the power he needs for his equipment. This poor fellow is lugging hid tools to you house then you say he also has to bring his own power supply? No, it doesn't work that way! Maybe you could have a lead line that is plugged in an indoor outlet, then put out the window, then close the window.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes but not 220 v. You can put an extension cord out a window and leave the doors locked. If you hired a contractor to power wash a deck would you expect him to bring his own water? Would you be happy paying the extra expense of bringing water - or in your case for renting a gereator?

  • Dash
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Yes, you need to provide him with power. I can't imagine why he would need 220v. Most jobs can be done with 110v. Run a heavy duty extenstion cord out the window or under the garage door.

    He should have discussed this before the job, He should have called you or left a note explaining the problem. If you want them to use a generator you need to tell them up front. Expect to pay a little more.

    You should never pay up front. Always pay when the job is complete. This is standard.

  • 1 decade ago

    very good question...

    tecnically you paid him to do a job and he hasn't done the job. did he state when he took the job on that he required a power source?

    however most people allow use of power to a contractor.

    leave an extension lead out for him through a partially opened window. if his tool require a different voltage he will have the powerpack/transformer for them

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's YOUR job right? If you are a painter and you paint someone's house for them should YOU pay for the paint? Of course not.

    Leave an extension cord out of a window or something.

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