What do I do when contractor doesn't show up?
I hired a landscape contractor to do some back yard renovation. He was referred to me by my landscape designer. He did not ask for a retainer, and I didn't know if that was the normal practice or not. I like him and feel comfortable with him, but am afraid he stretched himself too thin, because the work is just not getting done in a timely manner.
He said he'd schedule the work to start on June 5th and be finished that week. When he didn't show up on the 5th, I called and he said he'd be here on the 6th, then called on the 6th and changed it to the 7th. He did come the afternoon of the 7th, with two crew members, came back on the 8th with two people, a man and a woman, both very pleasant and personable. They worked for 5 or 6 hours and he said he'd be back the following Monday. When he didn't show up and didn't answer his cell, I called the office and left a message. The owner of the company eventually called back, explained that the contractor was very ill and had told a crew member to notify everyone, but that hadn't happened. So the contractor finally showed up on Friday of last week, with the man and the woman, and they worked from about 8:30 until 2:00, with me working alongside them. They came back this past Monday and I worked alongside of them most of the time. They again worked from about 8:30 until 1:30 or 2:00, although the woman left before that. The contractor promised to be back yesterday, Tuesday, but didn't call or come and didn't answer his cell. So today when he didn't call or come (he planned to finish the project today), I again called his cell and then called the company and left a message. I haven't heard from anyone yet.
Someone told me now that if a contractor doesn't have you sign a contract and ask for a retainer, you should expect him to be not very professional or organized.
Meantime, I ordered some roses from High Country roses to be here on June 8th, which is what the contractor suggested, so they've been waiting to be planted and I can't plant them myself because the drainage problem still isn't solved. I wanted own root roses and I guess the nursery where he bought roses didn't have that kind, so that's why we agreed I would order and pay for them.
I realize I probably was pretty ignorant and made some mistakes in this whole thing, but does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do now? Is it ethical to see if I can find someone else, which I realize at this time of year is probably unlikely? Should I just try to find someone to put in a drain where I plan to plant the roses and try to do the rest myself? I definitely want to pay the contractor for his work, but I don't know how much that is at this time. Like I said, I really like the guy but I am just very frustrated about the whole thing. There is quite a bit of work left to do and the yard is pretty much bare dirt right now, so I am kind of desparate.
Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for any...