Bad Home Contractors in Ohio: How to Protect Yourself
If you have hired a contractor in Ohio who failed to complete work (or completed a job in a defective manner), you may have a cause of action against this contractor. Some of the causes of action may include: breach of the construction contract, a general claim for negligence (due to the contractor’s failure to exercise due care in the performance of his work), or a breach of any warranties.
In this post, we’ll share a few tips for avoiding bad contractors in Ohio.
Measure for Breach of Contract
The usual measure of damages for breach of a construction contract is the reasonable cost of placing the home in the condition the Parties anticipated when they entered into the agreement. You must measure the cost that you will pay to hire another contractor to complete the project less any part of the contract with the contractor that remains unpaid.
When a contractor fails to perform his work in a workman-like manner, the cost of repairing the deficient work is the appropriate measure of damages. This may include the cost of repairs and the cost for any omitted items.
Negotiating the Terms (in Advance)
Before dealing with a licensed contractor, it is critical that you contact an experienced consumer and business attorney who can help negotiate the terms of your agreement. Otherwise, at the very least, have the attorney review any contract before signing it. When you are negotiating with your contractor, be sure that you have him agree to a maximum guaranteed price. This guaranteed maximum price includes all of his services, labor and supplies. All of this needs to be negotiated and outlined in a written agreement.
Here are some helpful tips when you are selecting a contractor:
1) Make sure you select a contractor who has been recommended by others. Cross-check your referrals to ensure that the contractor is reputable and has the experience, knowledge and training necessary to complete the project. Also ask the referrals about the contractor’s communication skills and ability to deliver on his promises.
2) Always ask the contractor if he guarantees his work and is willing to provide you with a warranty. Normally we recommend at least a one year warranty.
3) Always ensure that the contractor provides you with a written agreement that specifically lists all of the work that he is promising to finish. Furthermore, define a deadline in writing that guarantees a completion date. Make sure all of your written agreements include a condition that “time is of the essence.”
4) Always ensure that your contractor agrees to a guaranteed maximum price in writing. This way you will know the absolute maximum that the contractor will charge you for all of his labor, services and supplies. This will make it easier to budget on the project and to minimize any unforeseen costs or damages.
Dealing with a Bad Home Contractor in Ohio?
It’s better to invest time upfront to find a reliable contractor, rather than dealing with an unreliable one later on. However, if you’re dealing with an unreliable home contractor, give us a call. Our law firm will be happy to help you in this stressful time.