Construction projects are expensive undertakings, and clients expect every penny to be spent wisely. However, homeowners and contractors aren’t spared from unethical builders. These fly-by-night builders prey upon unsuspecting individuals and outwit them with their hard-earned money. It’s the responsibility of the client to adopt safety measures to ensure that he or she hires a trustworthy builder for a project.
Here’s how to screen contractors and recover your money if things go sour:
The first step is to research a prospective contractor’s background. Since everything is basically on the Internet, look for online feedback about the builder. People who dealt with the building company will their experience on social media or online forums. This is invaluable information that can help you screen a contractor.
Character referrals is also a good strategy since you can request a previous client to meet you in person and see the actual project. This will also give you an idea about the builder’s skills and work ethic.
Review Court Litigations
Licensed piling contractors from Scotland know that reviewing litigations is another way of spotting undesirable builders. Builders or contractors who were sued by their clients will appear on public records. If a builder was already sentenced multiple times for breaching contracts or committing fraudulent activities, cross the contractor off your list. Don’t be the nth client on his or her growing list of court cases.
Look for Warning Signs
One of the best ways to avoid issues with a fraudulent builder is to watch out for warning signs. During the interview, ask about his or her company’s financial capacity. Does it have enough funds to cover on-site mishaps or no-show subcontractors? If the builder is offering the lowest bid for the project, remove him from the list.
Lowest bidders are often scam artists who want fast money. When interviewing previous clients, inquire more about the builder’s ethics. Did the contractor meet the target deadline? Were there “additional costs” on top of the budget? Was there a contract or agreement signed between them and their builder? If their answers are negative, these are red flags. Find a better builder.
Know Your Legal Rights
Parties involved in construction projects are both protected by law, especially homeowners or clients. Since an agreement was signed between both parties, the residential or commercial homeowner can sue their contractor if he or she breaches the contract.
A breach of contract happens when the builder violates federal safety standards, fails to complete the construction project after collecting the fees, or imposes extra costs without the client’s consent. If there was no written agreement between you and your contractor, a verbal agreement could be enforced by the court on the condition that the aggrieved party submits documented evidence to support his or her claims.
Disputes arising from fraudulent contractors should be filed in court or a small claims court. Most of these builders are also required by law to have contractor bonds in case things like these happen. Seek legal advice to make a case against your builder.
Construction or renovation projects should not be a nightmare. Always practice prudence before hiring builders for the project. Document everything in case things go south. If you’re already in a bind, ask help from an attorney to understand your legal options and get your investment back.