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They put it where?? Contractor fails

It seemed a simple enough request. Add on a couple of rooms to the back of your home that will be perfect as a mother-in-law cottage or an apartment for your soon-to-be university student.

But the contractor that you hired must not have been up to the task. The slant of the roof is not steep enough to keep the rainwater from pooling in spots. You realize that this will soon cause the shingles to rot and the roof to leak. Also, the door to the outdoor patio was not properly planed and sticks when it's opened or shut. What can you do?

Address construction fails immediately

While you may be tempted to submit your contractor's failed project to a site like this, it will hardly solve your problem. But you do need to take quick action if you want the problem fixed quickly and correctly.

What you don't want to do is delay action, as that could be misconstrued as approval. Read on to learn how you can best address the problem.

Bring it to the contractor's attention

Inadvertent mistakes might slide through the cracks or be covered up by construction workers to hide their flaws. You need to be proactive and address the problem with your contractor. Even if a subcontractor was to blame, it's the general contractor who oversees the project who ultimately bears the responsibility for correcting mistakes.

Review your contract

Hopefully, simply drawing the contractor's attention to the problem will be sufficient to fix it. But, that is never a given. Your next move should be to go over your contract and see what recourse is available to you.

Some contractors insert arbitration clauses into their construction contracts that bar homeowners from turning to the courts for relief when there are construction defects. Even if there is one, an Alexandria attorney may be able to research why this one is unenforceable.

Withholding final payments is an option

Most contractors work on the "draw" system where you pay in increments as the work is completed. Again, this is according to your contracted obligations. But if such is the case and you owe a final payment, you can withhold payment until the mistakes have been satisfactorily remedied.

Seeking legal guidance is always prudent

Few non-attorneys are able to determine the appropriate legal remedies to a construction dispute with a contractor. Retaining an attorney to represent you in such cases can be money well spent.

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Fox & Moghul 3871 Plaza Drive Fairfax, VA 22030 Phone: 571-295-4026 Fax: 866-451-9531 Map & Directions