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3 steps to take when a contractor uses the wrong materials

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2022 | Property Law

Hiring a contractor to remodel your home or update one of your investment properties is a major expense. You may lose access to or occupancy of the property for several weeks, and you will probably pay thousands of dollars to have that work done. 

Unfortunately, while you may have established clear expectations in your negotiations or contract with the business or professional overseeing the project, you may eventually realize that they use low-grade, cheaper materials than what you paid for and expected. 

For example, they may have substituted paperboard for drywall or installed cheap vinyl tiles instead of actual porcelain tile. What can you do when a contractor does this? 

You can potentially take that contractor to court

If you agree to use certain materials and pay for them, the contractor should comply with those arrangements. Supply chain issues might mean that certain preferred materials won’t be available or have increased multiple times over in price. However, the contractor should not make substitutions without discussing those changes with you first, especially if it involves price differences.

When a contractor does not disclose material changes to a property owner, they open themselves up to breach of contract or construction defect claims. A civil lawsuit could result in the court forcing a contractor to redo the work they did or compensating a homeowner for the financial impact of their unapproved substitution. 

Rereading your contract can be a good starting point when you believe you need to take action on a construction dispute because of the materials used for the project.