Even after hiring whom you believe to be the best home contractor for the job, there is always the risk of something going wrong. For example, your home may not end up looking like your vision or the quality of work could be subpar. For this reason, it is important to research several contractors prior to making the final choice.
If you are unhappy with the work done on your home, the situation could quickly turn into a full-blown dispute. However, you have several viable options for reaching a resolution.
For starters, talk to the contractor in a calm manner about the issue to see if the two of you can come to an agreement. If, ultimately, you do not see eye-to-eye, a local or state agency may be able to help with a special program for such disputes. Through these programs, issues are often resolved. If the dispute cannot be settled, you should contact a qualified attorney.
Using the services of a lawyer, you and the contractor can go into mediation. In most cases, the mediator is a top construction litigator or retired judge. This individual will listen to both sides and review evidence. After careful consideration, a decision will be rendered. Keep in mind that if the outcome of mediation is not in your favor, an appeal can be filed.
Aside from the appeal, you have two basic options. You can either file a small claim against the contractor in court or hire an attorney to file a formal lawsuit. Sometimes, things can be settled through small claims court, but there is a cap as to the amount of money awarded, usually $5,000. Therefore, if the dispute involves a significant amount of money, filing a lawsuit is necessary. Otherwise, you would only recover a very small portion of the money owned.
If a lawsuit is filed, the case will go through the civil court system, and your attorney will provide guidance every step of the way. Of course, there are legal fees associated with hiring a reputable attorney and filing a lawsuit, but considering the amount of money you would lose without taking this action, it is money well spent.
The contractor will likely come to court with legal counsel as well, so it is imperative that you use the services of a professional attorney who has years of experience in handling cases of this type. As a result, the chance of being victorious in recouping some, if not all, of the money lost is much greater.