Virtually every homeowner at some point has hired a home improvement contractor to provide materials or services with regard to work on their residence, whether to increase the value of the home, or simply to perform repairs due to damages caused by other circumstances. Obviously, if the home improvement contractor does an extraordinary job and comes in on budget then this blog is not intended for you. On the other hand, should you experience difficulties with the work performed or the materials provided by the home improvement contractor this blog may provide some guidance in making the determination whether to file suit against your contractor.
Issues which can be caused by a home improvement contractor can involve the failure of the home improvement contractor to complete the work, issues with the work completed by the home improvement contractor, overbilling by the home improvement contractor, issues with the work failing township inspection, and other inter related issues. If you are able to work out acceptable arrangements with the home improvement contractor to address these issues then a law suit may not be in your best interest. On the other hand, should you be at an impasse with the home improvement contractor, you should explore your options as to filing suit. Obviously, one of your primary concerns would be having the work completed so that you can continue living in your residence. Should you choose to terminate the home improvement contractor and hire a new entity, it is extremely important that you document the current status of the work left by the home improvement contractor before the new contractor commences work. It is also important that you provide written notice to the home improvement contractor that you will be terminating it and also that you give it the ability to inspect the issues and to propose a plan or resolution prior to formal termination. If the home improvement contractor has simply abandoned the site this may be unnecessary.
Once you have retained a new substitute contractor, it is important that this contractor clearly document any issues which they are correcting due to improper work by the previous contractor and to detail any additional costs which are occasioned by the improper work. One of the most effective ways to do this is to take a multitude of photographs and to provide writings which evidence the issues. In general, the more documentation you have – the better. Hopefully, the remediation will continue and the project will be finished by the new replacement contractor. Once this is done, you will then have to determine whether it makes sense to sue the home improvement contractor who previously breached. This determination involves a multitude of factors.
The first factor you must consider is the damages you might recover in suing the home improvement contractor. In essence, this would be the additional funds you paid to have the job completed properly by the replacement contactor above the original contract price with the original contractor. You may also be entitled to incidental and consequential damages due to the breach by the previous contractor. Once you have determined this figure, you must make a determination whether or not it makes sense to retain an attorney to file suit. Clearly, pursuing a lawsuit is not cheap, and therefore, there must be a substantial loss which would justify a lawsuit.
There may be other factors which may weigh in favor of filing a lawsuit, or against filing a lawsuit. It is suggested that you consult with an attorney at this time prior to simply going forward blindly. The attorneys at Stark & Stark are very familiar with this sort of issue and would be happy to guide you through the process.