3 construction disputes that could force a homeowner to sue

When you hire a remodeling business or contractor to do work on your home, you expect the investment to improve your quality of life and property value. Unfortunately, big projects don’t always have the positive outcomes that homeowners expect.

Conflicts with contractors can cause major headaches. Sometimes, the issues are actually minor disputes that wouldn’t justify taking legal action. A homeowner angry because workers muddied their kitchen floors probably can’t sue over an issue easily remedied with a little cleaning.

Other times, the issues are much more serious and can have lasting consequences. What kinds of situations might lead to lawsuits or construction defect claims after you pay for work on your home?

Unfinished work

Life is unpredictable, and it’s possible that the contractor you hired could suffer a serious injury halfway through your project or break a tool that they have to wait some time to replace because of supply chain issues.

When there will be a significant delay in the completion of a project, the contractor or company should communicate that clearly with the homeowner and provide an estimate of when they will finish the work. When the work goes undone for weeks and the company seems to ignore your attempts to communicate, that may be a warning that you have to take further action.

Shoddy workmanship

Sometimes, a homeowner has unrealistic expectations given their budget or the materials they want a contractor to use and may have to accept a little disappointment with the project.

Other times, complaints about workmanship stem not from unrealistic expectations but from someone cutting corners with the project or not having the necessary skills to do it right. Shoddy workmanship can be an issue in scenarios where a company pays low wages to unskilled workers for big projects.

Material substitution

Did you pay for premium paint with no VOCs and a lifetime no-fade warranty, only to realize when the color fades the first time you wash the walls that the contractor used a much cheaper paint? Sometimes, material substitutions are inevitable, but companies should communicate with clients about the changes they make beforehand and potentially negotiate a different price if there is a major difference between the material originally requested and the one that the contractor used.

Recognizing when a construction dispute may be actionable can help you recoup some of the money invested in a project that did not turn out well.