Renovation contractor sues church for non-payment

St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Hanover, shown here on Aug. 6, is being sued by a contractor for non-payment in connection with a façade renovation project; the church has countersued the contractor for poor work.

HANOVER — A contractor and church are embroiled in litigation over renovations to the building.

Liszt Historical Restoration of Essex, Vt., is suing St. Thomas Episcopal Church and the bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of New Hampshire in Grafton County Superior Court for failing to pay the company in full for a facade renovation. The company wants to put a lien on the church’s property for $31,316.74.

St. Thomas, at 9 West Wheelock St., has countersued, saying the contractor’s poor work will cost $195,000 to correct.

A hearing on Liszt’s petition is scheduled for Aug. 31.

St. Thomas hired the company in spring 2019 to undertake “the restoration and repair of the outside of the church building,” which included restructuring the south arch and replacing mortar on several sides of the church.

Based on a member’s recommendation, the church hired Liszt, which represented itself “as specializing in historic and high-end stone masonry,” to do the work for $115,000.

As early as July 8, 2019, the church notified Liszt that the work was “unsatisfactory.” Its complaints included wrong-colored mortar and poor workmanship.

The church repeated its concerns on Aug. 15 and on Sept. 12. On Nov. 7, church officials had an on-site meeting with Liszt officials in which they raised the additional concern that “many of the cornerstone joints remained open to the oncoming winter weather.”

Unsatisfied with the workmanship and the rationale for leaving the joints exposed, St. Thomas said it terminated the contract with Liszt on Nov. 18.

Liszt says in a court document that St. Thomas breached its agreement with the company, entitling Liszt to damages, costs and liens against the church.

Friday, October 30, 2020
Thursday, October 29, 2020