Home Contractor Problems-What to Do Before You Call a Lawyer
Today I was speaking with a potential new client, and it occurred to me that many homeowners have no idea what to do when they have problems with a contractor. They feel helpless as the contractor has control over what is happening to their home, and they do not know how to deal with the situation when a contractor is doing poor quality work.
There are some things a homeowner can do that will help a lawyer understand the details of the situation. First of all, if there have not been any inspections done, the homeowner should call the local building inspector and ask him or her to come and evaluate the work. If work is not up to code, that strengthens the homeowner's case and let's him know if work needs to be re-done.
In addition, the homeowners should call contractors to come and give quotes for the cost of completing the job. This is one way of determining the amount of damages, and helps a lawyer decide the right approach to the claim. If a job was supposed to cost $100,000 originally and the homeowner has paid $90,000, and a contractor gives a quote of $40,000 to complete the work, the claim would be for $30,000 (forty thousand less the ten thousand not yet paid).
Clearly new contractors frequently criticize the work that was done previously, but this is why it is a good idea to get two or three quotes. When more than one person states that quality is poor, and work needs to be re-done it bolsters a claim against the contractor.
Once the homeowners are armed with information, they will feel more empowered and ready to deal with the problem. Having an outside party verify one's sense of the situation is a good way to start.
Then, find a lawyer who is familiar with these kinds of cases, and discuss your options.