When it comes to construction law, attorneys who are experienced in this field always have first-hand experience with virtually every type of residential construction dispute. They also understand the many issues that homeowners can end up encountering in terms of remodeling and new home construction projects, as well as knowing how to resolve them in an efficient and effective manner.
Here are four of the most common residential disputes.
*First and foremost, perhaps one of the most common residential disputes is defective workmanship. All contractors are expected to perform their work in a manner that is acceptable, and failing to do so qualifies as a breach of contract. When initiating a claim for defective workmanship, the steps include reviewing the contract itself for your rights, obligations, and notice requirements, retaining an independent contractor to inspect the work and determine the defect’s nature, and obtaining a contractor estimate to correct the defect. Any claim must also be brought within the applicable statute of limitations as well.
*Another of the most common residential disputes is failing to submit change orders. Oftentimes, many disputes arrive involving change orders, and most contracts contain a specific provision on how to process any work changes. The problem is that both parties rarely follow them. Provisions that are drafted well will require both parties to execute a change order that will describe the change, as well as the increase or decrease to the overall contract price and if the contractor will receive an additional amount of time. One common exception to a written change order requirement is if both parties have knowingly waived the provision through their overall conduct, such as multiple changes being performed throughout the project without an actual written change order. In circumstances such as these, the contractor could argue that both parties waived the provision or that verbal requests were separate verbal agreements separate from the contract.
*One other common residential dispute is project abandonment. At no time is it ever a good idea to pay a contractor prior to any work getting done due to the fact that it isn’t uncommon for a shady individual to end up taking your money and never returning to complete any work. In the event that a contractor receives funds for a project and doesn’t actually use them for expenses related to the project, this can be a direct violation of state statutes and can also be a felony. On the other hand, if you haven’t paid a contractor, yet the contractor refuses to return to the project, then this qualifies as a breach of contract which can entitle you to terminate the contract itself. You can then hire a replacement contractor. The terminated contractor can then be liable for any and all costs that are incurred with the replacement contractor above the original amount of the contract.