Before legal action ensues, how long does the contractor have to correct the job, that his company has been paid for?
Contact the CSLB for accurate information.
The time I would give a contractor to correct a botched job depends upon weather or not the contractor can repair it themself, the size of the job, if its a small it large project, and if its a small or a large concern.
If the job was a large job and the project has many problems I would question the competence of the contractor. However if it was a small portion and was a sub-contractor and there was a new sub to.be hired that would be ok.
I would also say for time that a reasonable amount to complete the job, but a repair should begin immediately or be planned within a week or two.
Hope this helps since I was asked a very generic question.
Our company has a rule of thumb, as well as most that I've worked with (and there have been several), that initial contact should be made immediately. Upon contact, a time and date for the repair to be completed should be established so there is no question in the consumers mind when the work will be corrected.
If you are having problems with this, I suggest asking to schedule a specific date and time for them to fix the work; rather than just asking them to swing by "as soon as they have time available." That way they are held accountable...and if they fail to show up for the scheduled appt and legal action pursues, you have a leg to stand on.
Also, try contacting your Better Business Bureau. They not only facilitate customer & business communication, but contractors take their rankings very seriously. I guarantee they will get back to you immediately. When contacting the BBB, you have to make sure you give the business the opportunity to correct their mistake, despite your frustration. If not, the Bureau will classify it as "the business made reasonable efforts to correct their mistake and the customer (you) were unwilling to work with them." At the end of the day, you're the only one who wouldn't benefit because unfortunately, they have probably already been paid.
Timely manner is correct in most locations. The actual time would depend upon the specifics of the problem. If it is strictly a workmanship problem & does not require any special material that has to ordered in then Now is a good time line. A good contractor will want to get it fixed as soon as possible. We are human & sometimes make mistakes. It is important to admit the mistake & take care of it as soon as is possilble. However, sometimes it is more of a material issue that may be beyond the control of the contractor & can take an extended period of time to resolve. Suppliers today do not give the kind of service they were capable of 20 years ago, & manufacturers typically will try to past the buck.
A lot of contractors today have an arbitration clause in the contract that will insure a fair settlement of any disputes & save the customer & the contractor costly legal fees.
Having said that, a lousy contractor that does not take care of his work will probably not have any money to get legally anyway. In my opinion, the only people that's going to win a construction case are the lawyers. They very seldom go to court. Its just too expensive.
The law does not state a particular time. Most responsible contractors try to correct issues as soon as possible in order to keep their client happy. When they don't, it's usually because they have run out of money, feel they are going to lose money on the job, or that it's not their issue to resolve.
It is best to determine which of the three it is in order to resolve it.
If they have run out of money, no matter what you do, they are not going to perform and suing them in court will likely not resolve the problem either.
If it's either of the last two, it depends on how much they want to preserve their reputation. You could also dig a little deeper and verify that it is indeed their issue. Many times homeowners think that the contractor has to include a particular item, but unless it is in the contractor it may not be included.
I advise my clients to check out a contractor really well.
Maria Luisa Castellanos, R.A., LEED AP
United Architects, Inc.
That is up to the customer not the courts; however, most states have a statute of limitations governing how long you can wait to pursue legal action.
The contract should have a stated warranty and I would file a lawsuit quickly, within a few weeks, if the contractor hasn't been in contact with you regarding repairs.
1. Contact your Municipality, whether it be your city or county.
2. Ask if a permit is required.
Q.: Was the permit pulled?
If yes: Did he get a Final?
If yes, was it green or red?
Green: Ask to speak to the Inspector and his Department manager. Raise HELL, you are paying their for their children's shoes.
Red: Your half way there! Request an inspection, hoping it's Red. The city will take over from there (Note: If you live in a Union mandatory State, contact the Union).
3. If a permit is not required.
File suit is small claims Court, this will get his attention, as well as legitimizing your case.
Word of mouth, slam him into the ground! (go to every convenience store, Home Depot, ext., and post a notice about him on their complementary contractor board. (Racetrack is where I would start).
As far as advising other people:
- Ask for, and check references.
- Insist on at least $1,000,000.00 in liability insurance (this could cost you your home).
- Insist on a permit, if required; call your municipality to double check.
- Only pay by check (in most states and courts this constitutes a verbal contract).
- Negotiate the draw schedule before you start the project.
- Pay the final payment when you say it's finished not the other way around.
Hope this helps.
I am in this situation too. Last March/April my contract put in laminate flooring in all common rooms (family, living, and 2 halls- roughly 2/3 of my home). I knew immediately something wasn't right the seems looked wrong (they were laying weird, not sure how to describe it). I brought it to their attention they said it should settle down over the next few weeks. Nothing changed with the look and the edges actually became worse (they are so bad they snag socks and the dust mop). My contractor said that they felt it was a manufacturer issue so the manuf. sent a 3rd part guy and he sided with the manuf. So now my contractor is still saying it was the manuf. so here we are almost a year later and nothing.
I am sooo beyond frustrated. They are still in contact with me off and on saying they are trying things like purchasing a new box of the same flooring and putting together a few pieces and leaving it in my house (another inconvenience to me), etc. They even gave me $75 in gift cards for my "inconvenience" (I think their apology is also lacking).
At what point do I push to take the next legal step? At what do I simply say fix my freakin' floor and you and Shaw hash the other crap out. I feel like I am caught in the middle between the two and this is NOT my issue to deal with.
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