(WHTM) — As the weather warms up, many people will hire contractors for major projects. However, there are some steps you should take before you make the appointment.

Spring is the time of the year that many of us sign contacts for home improvement work and place our down payments. But what happens if the contractor continues to delay?

Andrew and Sheila Vance wanted their front step rebuilt, so they hired a local concrete contractor. The two paid $1,600 upfront, which was half of the total cost, and stated that the contractor promised to do the job before Christmas.

The holidays came and went, but nothing happened. Then, two months later, they say that the contractor backed out. “He said he was going to have to cancel doing the job because he was ill, and he was going to refund our money entirely,” explained Sheila Vance.

The contractor sent them a money order, but he kept a cancelation fee. “It was a refund minus a $500 cancelation fee,” said Sheila Vance.

The contractor wrote that on the receipt, but the two say that the contractor was the one who canceled on them.

What should you do if you’re in a situation where your work keeps getting postponed?

A report in Rocketlawyer.com says you should do the following:

  • Make sure the contract has a time frame for work
  • It should specify a start and completion time
  • It should state what happens if either one of you back out

The Concrete Mason stated that they’d refund half of the late fee, which is $250, because he disagrees with who really canceled.

“All I want is the money you owe us.”

The Vance’s said that next time, they will make sure they get a lot more specifics. Be sure to read your contracts carefully, so you don’t waste your money.