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Homeowners can protect themselves during a remodeling project -- II

When homeowners decide to take the leap and remodel their interior and/or exterior, they will typically dedicate a good amount of time to such important issues as determining the scope of the project and, of course, finding a suitable contractor.

While it goes without saying that homeowners making such a significant investment will need to perform their due diligence when selecting a contractor, experts indicate that they will also need to remain on guard throughout the duration of the project. 

Indeed, in our last post, our blog started discussing some classic warning signs that should not only give homeowners pause about their contractor, but also prepared to part ways with them.

No thanks to a contract

Experts warn that homeowners should be ready to take their business elsewhere if the contractor they are considering hiring is unwilling to sign a contract.

While this might seem like something of a no-brainer, experts indicate that many contractors are actually able to convince homeowners that a contract isn't necessary for the project.

This is significant, of course, given that the contract is the binding document that protects the homeowner in the event the contractor deviates from the agreed upon terms and they want to hold them legally accountable.

Similarly, experts warn homeowners to be wary of contractors unwilling to secure permits for a remodel, as it could be a harbinger of future problems.

Contract? What contract?

Even if a contract is signed, the unfortunate reality is that it's not uncommon for a contractor to start deviating from its terms at some point in the building process.

  • Perhaps they are using different and/or cheaper materials than those called for in the contract.
  • Perhaps they are using less labor than called for in the contract.
  • Perhaps they are performing the work in a shoddy manner or not at all.

When presented with any of these circumstances, experts indicate that it may be time for a homeowner to consider terminating the services of the contractor and finding another willing to do the job according to their specifications. Indeed, the first two points are tantamount to stealing, as the homeowner is not getting what they paid for.

Homeowners or builders involved in any manner of construction dispute should give serious consideration to speaking with an experienced legal professional who can answer their questions, explain the law and pursue a viable solution.

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