What to do when a contractor does a poor job

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Construction Law |

A new construction project or renovation can be exciting and stressful at the same time, whether you are a business owner or individual.

Most construction projects involve working with a wide variety of contractors or subcontractors, including construction companies, electricians, landscapers and more.

While you always hope everything will go smoothly, sometimes you are left with poor quality work. This can cause you financial problems, increase your stress and potentially damage your business.

How do I know if the work is bad?

It helps to know what poor quality work means. Generally, it is work that falls below a reasonably accepted standard in the industry. Many different actions could be considered poor quality work, including:

  • Failing to follow building codes
  • Hiring inexperienced workers
  • Using cheap materials

You do not have to live with poor-quality work. There are steps you can take to try to resolve the problem.

Review your contract and determine if there was a breach

First, review the contract thoroughly. If you are the business owner, you likely created the contract yourself. It should contain language designed to protect you in these types of cases.

Your contract should contain language about expectations about the quality of the work to be performed. Terms surrounding the materials to be used and the scope of the work should also be included, as well as any warranties. With a solid contract in place, you can assert the contractor is in breach of the contract.

Start documenting everything

Next, document the issues. Take high-quality pictures of the inferior work from various angles. Write down the date you discovered the problems, detail the exact problems and any statements the contractor made about the problem.

Talk with third parties about the problem. These can include architects or engineers who can review the work and provide opinions on whether it meets industry standards.

These third parties can also help you determine next steps to repair the problem and potentially serve as expert witnesses for you if your case ends up in court.

Consider alternative dispute resolution

Resolving the dispute might be accomplished through using an alternative dispute resolution method, such as mediation, which the Florida legislature encourages as a method for resolving construction disputes. It is often quicker and less expensive than litigation.

Finally, before taking any further action, speak with the contractor about the problem. Most contractors are willing to address and correct the issue without the need for dispute resolution or litigation.

If the contract cannot or will not fix the issue, you can require them to attend mediation. A mediator is a neutral third party who listens to both sides and offers suggestions for resolution.

Although mediation has a high success rate, there are times when it is unsuccessful. Your remaining option may be litigation, where you must prove and request compensation for your damages.