Home repairs and renovations are often more stressful and expensive than homeowners want. Between unexpected structural issues, delays and other problems, these projects can quickly spiral out of control.
When you hire a contractor, they should be able to navigate these challenges with professionalism and skill. Unfortunately, contractors do not always keep the homeowner’s best interests in mind. When can you take legal action?
Scenario 1: It doesn’t match what you expected
You had a vision in your mind of what the end result would be like. Now that you see that vision brought to life, you are having second thoughts. As long as your contractor was reasonable and performed to the industry standard, you might have to move in a different direction without a lawsuit.
However, sometimes the end result is not what you envisioned because the materials and quality are wrong. For example, paying your contractor for premium materials does not mean that they can use cheaper materials and pocket the extra money. Furthermore, if the necessary craftsmanship is beyond the skills they have, they should hire a subcontractor to help instead of completing a poor-quality job on their own.
In these situations, a lawsuit may be appropriate – even if you never officially signed a contract. You can seek compensation for unethical practices that impact the outcome of your project.
Scenario 2: Your contractor failed to uphold the agreement
There are other ways in which a contractor might violate the original agreement or your trust, including:
- Not fully completing the work
- Delaying the project or drawing it out far too long
- Lying about their qualifications
- Causing damage to your home during the project
In a recent case, for example, Illinois families claimed that a local contractor “ghosted” them, taking their money and beginning projects, but never finishing the work or providing clear timelines. Instead, the families say that the contractor kept providing excuses for delays.
If there are no technical limitations that would explain such actions, you may have a good reason to sue. The costs of hiring a contractor – and hiring a different contractor to step in – can be high.
Firing your contractor or leaving a bad review is usually not enough. You can take your bad experience a step further and recover the costs in a lawsuit or through arbitration. Your attorney can represent your interests to hold the contractor accountable.