Memoirs of a Builder: Pay Me Now or the House Comes Down
“Um, the framer is about to tip over the house”.
One day, I was calmly working in my office when one of our superintendent’s called me in a panic.
“Hey Don*!” I said.
“Mike,” Don said frantically, “we have a situation over here. I don’t know how to say it, but Jackson*, the framer, has his Gradall hooked up to the house and he is threatening to pull the house down.”
You can imagine my surprise as we talked through it. Jackson wanted his money for the work performed and he wanted it now! If we couldn’t pay him within the next few hours, he would destroy the house. The sad thing is, I knew Jackson wasn’t kidding as he had done this before.
We went into action. Our team quickly pulled together the invoice for a draw specifically for Jackson. Our lender was willing to work with us to get a check cut. I drove to our lender's location, grabbed the check, and sped off to the job site.
I pulled up to see Jackson sitting in his Gradall with the engine on, a chain hooked up to one of the main girder trusses. I handed him the check and got him off the job site as quickly as possible. Needless to say, he wasn’t invited to work on our projects anymore.
Looking back, it’s one of my favorite stories from my years as a contractor. I always get a good chuckle thinking about that day.
*Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the people involved.
Written by Mike Lacey, CoFounder & CEO of CoFi. Mike worked as a builder for 10 years. To share stories of your experience as a builder/contractor, email email@example.com.