What should I do if my builder goes AWOL?
Here is a great article by myhouseextension,ie about what are your options if a builder goes awol.
My Neighbors Experience
I was sitting a home on a Friday evening a few years ago when there was a ring at my door one of neighbors was there in flows of tears. Her builder had done a runner and had disappeared. Nightmare scenario she had overpaid him, his work was structural sound but very rough but at least it was watertight.His subcontractors were not paid and we found out he had gone back to his home country and had left three other client high and dry.
An 40sq meter extension that should of taken 16 weeks took over a year to finish as my neighbor had to balance her finances and refund the project through her salary as she had already borrowed her initial payments to the builder.
The solution was piecemeal as finances allowed ,using a combination of the existing subcontractors and a decent reputable local builder who did the balance at breakeven cost using the project as an infill lag in his schedule and the homeowner did all of her own decorating.
A year after she had a great addition to her home but the project had come at high cost to her, At the onset of the project I had offered her advice anytime she needed it as a friend. As proud independent person she did not take up the offer of tender analysis and she went for the lowest tender as her finances dictated.