Home construction projects often produce conflicts and problems. Whether you are a contractor that goes into someone's home to repair, build or update their home, or a homeowner who hired a professional to do a job, it is possible that you feel like the other party isn't fulfilling their obligations.
Regardless of which role you find yourself in, there are steps to take that can help you resolve the issue. It's important that you remain calm when you interact with the other party and stay focused on securing a positive outcome to the situation.
Review your contract carefully
As a homeowner, the best protection you can obtain is a contract that carefully outlines your expectations and the obligations of your contractor. The same is true if you are a contractor. The more specific and detailed the agreement between you and a client, the more likely it is that everyone has the same expectations and standards.
If you believe that there has been a violation of the agreement, the first step you need to take is reviewing your contract. If you don't have a written contract, it may be time to commit your expectations to write. The sooner you do that, the better able you'll be to resolve the issue to your own satisfaction.
Composing an email that calmly and professionally outlines your expectations and how you believe they have not been met is it a good first step. Similarly, outlining the work that you have performed as a contractor and how you believe it fulfills your obligations to a client in a professional and polite email can sometimes resolve miscommunications.
Have an attorney draft a letter
Whether you need a worker to correct defective workmanship or have to compel a client into paying you, a letter composed by an attorney outlining the obligation of the other party can often help speed things up. Receiving notice from an attorney makes it clear that you take the situation seriously and will take further steps if necessary.
Start compiling evidence in case you have to go to court
If informal communication, written complaints, and communication from your attorney have not resolved the issue, you may need to file a lawsuit for breach of contract. Simply receiving a summons for a lawsuit can occasionally motivate people to do the right thing and fulfill their obligations to the other party in the contract.
If that is not the case, then a lawsuit is wise because this is likely the only action that will compel the other party to fulfill their obligation to you. As soon as you have to start thinking about enforcing a contract related to construction, you should start documenting the issues as you perceive them to bolster your case if you have to go to court.