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What happens after professionals botch a construction project?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2023 | Construction Law

Real property often represents the most valuable asset in someone’s name. Whether someone purchased a home as an investment or as their primary residence, they want it to appreciate in value so that they can eventually sell it for more and they paid for it in most cases. Property owners invest quite a bit not just in mortgage payments but also in upkeep and improvements. They might add another wing to a house to increase the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. They might remodel the kitchen with prestige finishes and the hopes of increasing its asking price.

Most homeowners recognize that professionals will do a better job on projects like grouting tile and painting trim than a layperson would, which is why they will happily pay for professional services. Unfortunately, construction companies and contractors can make major mistakes during projects that end up impacting the usefulness of the property or reducing its value. What can a homeowner do when a construction project diminishes their property value instead of increasing it?

They can pursue a construction defect lawsuit

Those hiring construction companies or contractors should be able to trust that the professionals will complete the project as outlined in the contract and meet current industry standards. When a homeowner pays to replace their roof, for example, they expect that the roof will serve its purpose by keeping rain out of the house.

If it turns out that there are gaps in the waterproofing and leaks coming from a brand-new roof, that would absolutely be reason to take the company that performed the work to civil court. Homeowners coping with a poorly-completed project can ask the courts to order specific performance and force the business to redo or complete the work. They could also seek financial compensation in the form of a refund for the work or reimbursement for the cost to fix the construction defects.

Property owners can also seek compensation for damages to the property caused by the defect, such as warped hardwood floors that an owner must replace after their brand-new roof fails. The first steps of developing a construction defect claim typically involve documenting the defect, reviewing the contract with the construction professional or company and possibly discussing the matter with another professional who can advise on whether or not the service provider deviated from current standards.

Pursuing a construction defect lawsuit in civil court can result in compensation for homeowners and also consequences for businesses and individuals that don’t provide the services they promise.