“I hired a contractor to build a screen porch. He was ‘almost’ done and said he needed to leave town for another job he had commited to, but would find someone else to finish. We have exchanged some phone calls, but no one has shown up and it is now been three weeks. I have started to take over the project to complete it. I have not signed a contract, but accepted a bid and agreed to him finding a replacement with the understanding that it would be right away. What rights do I have or problems may I have?”
Your question would require a small book to answer completely. The short answer is, first try to contact the original contractor and let him know that you’re planning to have someone else finish the job. It’s also a good idea to put this in writing. Creating a paper trail will help demonstrate that you gave the original contractor a reasonable amount of time before replacing him.
If you are in a state which licenses contractors, you may also wish to contact the agency that issues licenses to get their advice.