This is the fourth part of a five part series.
Click here to read the first part, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Prelude.
Click here to read the second part, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Process.
Click here to read the third part, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Problem.


We cancelled Jason’s contract and we filed with the county as the Owner-Builders for the project.  We then hired Jason as our Project Manager with the understanding that he would not be allowed to handle any money and that we would make all of the deals with the suppliers and subcontractors.   Further, we would use the money we would have paid him under the original contract to pay off all of the liens and recoup our money that had been seized from his bank account.   It was only after all of the outstanding liens and bills were paid that we started to pay Jason and then only up to what remained of the money he would have received under the original contract.  It was not our intent to punish Jason but only to make him pay for his mistakes.

Faced with the prospect of law suits and possibly jail, Jason agreed to work for us, essentially, for nothing until all of the money he lost was recouped.   The fact that he agreed to this rather than just slink away helped confirm to us that he was more of an inept businessman than a common thief.   In time, we came to realize that he was relieved to be just supervising the construction while we handled the business end of the project.

We were now in complete control of the project which also meant that we would need to spend a considerable amount of our time bringing this to a successful conclusion.  While I was in Arizona and even when I wasn’t, there were numerous phone calls, emails, letters and other interferences that began to creep into our day-to-day lives both at home and at the office and became the fabric of our lives for two years.

In order to protect our interests, I had to spend some of my time in Arizona meeting with the suppliers and subcontractors who had filed preliminary liens so that we could work out arrangements to pay them.   We also had to re-negotiate most of the contracts with the subcontractors and pay them directly.  Many of them liked this arrangement much better because they felt more secure knowing that payment was coming directly from us and they did not have to rely on Jason.

Contractors are small businesses and many of them were suffering from the downturn in the economy.  Sometimes, we could get a great deal just because the contractor wanted to work and earn some money and, sometimes, they tried to gouge us to make more money.

We had our share of both honest and unscrupulous subcontractors so we had to constantly be on our toes and managing this project from 2,500 miles away wasn’t always easy.  To compound the problems many of the subcontractors did not speak English.  In an area that has a prevalent Spanish-speaking population, communication was sometimes difficult.  Jason spoke some Spanish, but since we don’t, it was not always clear if the communication was successful.

Eventually, we got into a very workable system with Joe and I handling all of the financial arrangements while Jason concentrated on supervising the day to day construction at the job site.
 We finally reach our happy ending in the next installment, “All’s Well That Ends Well, The Conclusion”.