Watch unpaid contractor destroy new bathroom with a sledgehammer

Originally published at: Watch unpaid contractor destroy new bathroom with a sledgehammer | Boing Boing


100% deserved. A coworker who dabbles in woodworking told me that he made some really nice wood planters, the sort that would run you a few hundred bucks or more. He installed them and the homeowner didn’t pay him, so he just waited until they were gone and took them back. I’ve also heard of contractors tearing up a freshly poured concrete patio due to non-payment.


Time to pay! Or else! Makes me angry and I didn’t do the work…


As I understand it, the contractor was paid half up front, did really bad quality work and was asked to fix it before being paid the remainder-- which is how it should be, but he refused and instead smashed up his shoddy work. Contractors can put a lien on a property if they don’t get paid. Smashing up someone’s house isn’t the right way to go about it.

All my info comes from a reddit comment section though, so take it for what it’s worth.


when i was a freelancer i got stiffed on a couple of jobs. not thousands of dollars but i feel the rage of this guy. deadbeats suck, plain and simple.

Edit: well, now knowing the rest of the story his rage was not exactly justified, was it? in my case it was, however, and i maintain that deadbeats (on either side of a contract) suck.


According to other news reports the homeowner had paid about half of what the contractor was owed and the dispute centered around timely payment of the balance because the client had concerns about the quality of the work. So it sounds more complicated than “someone hired a contractor and then refused to pay.”

In any event this doesn’t seem like a prudent course of action for the contractor if he was hoping to recover what he felt he was owed. At minimum he’ll probably have to return the deposit he was paid if this goes to court.

That was apparently the homeowner’s roommate, not the person who hired him.


I’m sure this contractor’s lawyer provided the guidance that this is the correct course of action in the event of nonpayment. Surely, this is what the client signed in the contract: For nonpayment, the project will receive the sledgehammer.

As a homeowner, I would never hire this guy. He seems to have anger issues and and violent tendencies. Of course, I wouldn’t stiff him, either, but I’ve encountered a lot of deadbeat contractors, too.


To quash any sensationalism, here’s the actual detailed story and the thread of messages between contractor and homeowner. The guy’s just trying to scam the client in two extremely common ways: Demanding payment for absolutely halfassed work (see pics below) before the work is inspected, and using materials left over from another job and claiming full cost (the glass door he ‘custom ordered’ but can’t provide a receipt for, which still hadn’t arrived if it ever existed at all). The multi-thousand dollar deposit on the job acted to cover materials and as a good faith payment; he doesn’t own a thing. The guy’s a piece of shit.


Completely different story here.
He was paid upfront half and did a very poor job.
the owner ask to come and check first before paying the second half and the contractor destroyed everything before the owner even arrive, we are talking about less than 24 hours timeline.
He is now sued to get his license canceled.


Probably too late for that. The Deadbeats Getting what they Deserved Revenge Fantasy Express has already left the station.


If this guy was in the right he’d be using a lawyer not a sledgehammer.


Judging by those pictures, it looks like he did the homeowner a favor. Now they don’t have to pay someone else to do the demo before redoing it.


And they say the law is a blunt instrument.


It’s too bad since they really tried, they just might not have gotten their second…say it takes them five times, it’s subway tile…chance at knowing how to do it.

Oh, that shelf or whatever really takes the thinset cake. Hadn’t seen that (moral: buy the snubnose tile!)


0% Deserved. And given his irrationality, it’s pretty certain how the contractor votes.

I think this thread is an excellent example of how all of us online really need to try to take the time to read beyond the headlines before adding even more unhelpful reactionary rage to the internet. The first couple posts in this thread say “100% deserved” and “makes me angry…” and I’m not sure those folks would have made those same harsh judgments after looking at the photos posted by @BenFranks

Knee-jerk reactionary outrage to stuff you see online can have real-world consequences in the form of harassment or threats.

Edit: also worth noting that the algorithms that decide what social media post we’re exposed to are optimized for maximum engagement, and the posts that result in the most knee-jerk angry reactions meet that goal. So best if we can avoid feeding the beast and not train it for that stuff.


Well, that is how you go from potentially not getting paid for your work to definitely not getting paid for your work and possibly having trespassing and assault charges on your record.

He talks about how no contractor will want to rebuild the bathroom after word gets around of non-payment. How much work does he think he will get in the future when word gets around of his shoddy work and his dangerously volatility?


… I think that’s the same guy who did the shower in my master bathroom- exposed edges of tile, poor grout work, and haphazard lines.

Although it was probably a prior owner of this old house- there’s a lot of evidence of half-assed (or quarter-assed) ‘renovation’ work around the place. (like spray-painting the kitchen tiles white instead of either leaving the floral pattern they were, or removing them proper-like and putting up new tiles.)


It may be more effective than an mechanics lien, but it’s a lot more illegal. It’s vandalism pure and simple and since the client paid half up front, it could also be theft.

1 Like

He wasn’t destroying his handiwork to punish the client for withholding payment.

He was destroying the evidence of his crimes against home renovation.