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Choosing the Wrong Contractor Case Study

by Craig Hoffman | Thursday September 17, 2020 | General

Starting any construction project with a quality contractor like Quarry View Building Group is key to a successful project. Fortunately most contractors like Quarry View Building Group are skilled and experienced craftspeople that will build your house on-time and on-budget.

However, it can be beneficial to examine what would happen if you chose the wrong contractor. What are the repercussions? How could you remove them from your project? Perhaps they’re too slow or don’t have the right equipment. Or, communication is poor or a lack of professionalism permeates the worksite. Maybe the house just isn’t coming together right. Let’s examine more in this hypothetical scenario of choosing the wrong contractor.

RELY ON CONTRACTS
Working with contractors usually involves a combination of written and verbal contracts. You may agree to a price and materials over a handshake, or you may sign an itemized estimate and invoice. Obviously, it’s better for you, as the homeowner, to have the protection of a written invoice and contract.

Assuming you have clear, written expectations regarding the work that the contractor will do, if their work does not match the standard set in the contract, you may have grounds for a breach-of-contract lawsuit. Even if you worked with the contractor under a verbal agreement, work that rapidly deteriorated or used substandard materials could still provide grounds for a breach of contract lawsuit.

In many cases, your homeowners insurance may not compensate for damage caused by a bad contractor. They will expect you to hold that contractor liable. If the contractor isn’t willing to come back and fix what is wrong with the work done on your home, it may be time to pursue a civil lawsuit.

STOP PAYING
Many contractors ask for half of their payment upfront before they begin a job. Whatever the agreed amount, check your contract for construction benchmarks of the project. If you reach an impasse over work that hasn’t been done correctly, or at all, you can withhold payment. Hopefully, the contractor will make things right to get his or her money.

But be careful with this method. The contractor can take YOU to court and attempt to place a lien on the property to obtain payment. That can be a powerful tool that can wreak havoc on a project by tying up bank loans, clouding title ownership and scaring away potential replacement contractors.

VOICE YOUR COMPLAINTS
Because you hired a licensed contractor, you can file a complaint with the government agency that licensed them. For example, in Pennsylvania, all contractors must be licensed through the Commonwealth. Contractors fear losing their license and sometimes the mere threat of a complaint will do the trick. You can also voice your complaints to vendors that may supply or contractor or contact your local builders association to apply added pressure.

TAP THEIR BOND
Contractors often state “licensed, bonded and insured” in their marketing materials and contracts. If a bonded contractor abandons your job, damages your property, does shoddy work or fails to pay subcontractors, chances are these transgressions are covered by the bond. Contact the company that issued the bond, usually an insurance company, and be prepared to prove your case.

USE ARBITRATION
If your contractor is at all slick or sophisticated, they may have included a mandatory arbitration clause in your contract. Arbitration can be less expensive than a lawsuit and may not need an attorney. A trained arbitrator will listen to both sides and issue a decision. The Better Business Bureau is one organization that offers arbitration services for disputes between consumers and businesses for low or no fees.

Choosing Quarry View Building Group
The best way to prevent cases like those described above is to work with a revered company that checks-off all the boxes like Quarry View Building Group. One distinct feature of trustworthy and reliable contractors is their references, whether in the form of referrals or via internet reviews on platforms like Facebook and Google. Indeed, contractors with something to hide have a limited presence on the web or have a plethora of bad reviews. One disgruntled “difficult client” may not spell doom for your choice in contractor, but several consistent negative marks should be enough to turn you away.

So avoid all the potential pitfalls. Dealing with an unethical contractor is time consuming and potentially expensive to fix. The best way not to deal with a bad contractor is not to hire them in the first place. Quarry View Building Group makes it easy. Our experience and expertise in building custom residential homes and commercial structures is a no brainer. We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a stellar reputation throughout the industry. Contact Quarry View today for a consultation on your next project.