I finally got around to speaking to John, aka, "the slug".
He finished the job, just 6 months after beginning what should have been 2-3 weeks of full time work. S-L-U-G.
He was finally motivated to come and finish 2 days before Xmas so that he could get paid and have some money to spend. But I was in no hurry, and actually quite busy with work and holiday preparations to deal with him. So I put him off a few days, despite his daily phone messages. He caught me by surprise one morning and I answered my phone before looking to see who it was. I promised I'd do the walk-through and get back to him. I'd asked him how much I owed him, having a sort of ball park idea with the notes I'd kept for myself. He said $1400. Oh.
Well, I knew that I had given him a total of $750 so far, subtract that from $1400 and we have $650. I left a message that he could pick up the check and be done with it. I don't want that man coming to my home anymore.
But I was wrong.
Apparently, he had the understanding (nothing was ever written down) that I was to pay him $3000 LABOR and materials would be extra. When he and my brother-in-law quoted that I thought it was labor AND materials. Most of the materials were free (left overs from construction jobs my brother-in-law did), so as that was received I figured "Yay, less money I have to pay of the $3000 I thought this project was going to cost."
Now John says I owe $1400. Well, I'm not prepared to write that check. I don't have it. And, besides, I don't think he deserves full pay for a job that took TOO long to do. I had ideas of my son being able to play there during the summer that he was six years old (and longer). We won't ever get back the summer he was six. And really, how long will he want to play in a clubhouse anyway? I wanted to take advantage of the short time he would revel in such a cool thing. How much does a missed summer cost? There's no price. It's price-less. But the Slug doesn't care too much about that.
I spoke with my brother-in-law today and he says he remembers the conversation on the quote at being $3000 for labor only. That day I gave my B-I-L $400 for materials and agreed to get the job started. I'm not sure where that $400 went, but John says he saw half of it. I suppose, even though the materials were free, I'm expected to pay for the privilege of getting freebies through my connection to him, so I won't argue that. But the $200 to John--I can argue that. He did supply some paint, but I'm pretty sure that didn't come to $200. Or maybe it did. Shit. I hate this. It's giving me a belly ache.
Now I have to argue with John and come to an agreement that neither of us will like.
I think, I'll concede to $1000-1200 and pay him in 2 installments. But I'd rather send it in the mail. Like I said, I don't want him coming 'round any more. He did decent work, but it took TOO long. And there's something about him that feels slimey. Overall, not a good feeling. But he was a friend of my B-I-L's so I went with it.
Let's move on.