What if a Construction Project Isn’t Performed to Specifications?
If a construction project is not completed according to specifications, it is important to talk with a real estate litigation attorney as soon as possible. You may have a choice of different legal remedies to address the problems or defects in the construction.
When both residential and commercial construction projects are undertaken, there should be a detailed written contract in place. This contract should set out full specifications for the scope of the work and for the compensation structure for contractors. The more detailed the contract is, the more protection it provides. If a contract sets forth specifications and the developer does not comply with those specifications, the buyer who is paying for the property can pursue a breach of contact claim and seek appropriate legal remedies. An Orange County real estate litigation attorney can help.
What to Do If a Construction Project is Not Performed to Specifications
If a construction project is not performed to specifications, you will need to determine if the particular specifications are in your written construction contract or not. If they are, then you will have an easier time pursuing a legal remedy because you can show that an express contractual term was breached.
If there is nothing in a construction contract, you may still be able to make a case if you can prove that an implied warranty was breached, such as an implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. Understanding express and implied warranties and learning about industry-specific standards fro construction can be confusing, so you should have an Orange County real estate litigation attorney assist you in determining if you can make a case for a failure to fulfill construction standards.
If you believe there is sufficient proof that your construction is not being completed as required, you can sometimes file a civil lawsuit in court. You would need to go to court, prove that the contractor had not fulfilled the terms of your agreement, and demonstrate you were damaged. The appropriate legal remedy would vary depending upon the circumstances and your desires. For example, you could request specific performance and ask the court to compel the defendant to live up to his end of the bargain and bring the construction up to specifications. You could also ask for monetary damages for the losses caused by the failure to do the project as required by detailed specifications.
Some construction contracts contain mandatory arbitration clauses, limiting your ability to go to court and resulting in a need to submit your disagreement to arbitration. If you have an arbitration clause, or you decide at the time of the disagreement that you prefer to arbitrate, then you will go before the arbitrator to ask for a resolution to be reached. The arbitrator usually acts in a similar way to a judge, making decisions on your behalf. Mediation, by contrast, would allow you and the builder / developer to work together to try to come up with a resolution.
Tips for Pursuing Legal Remedies for a Breached Construction Contract
If you have decided to pursue a claim for breach of construction contract, you will need to provide clear proof that you did not get the work that you expected. Sometimes, this is very clear. For example, if your construction contract called for two-zone air conditioning and you only got one-zone air conditioning, it is apparent there has been a breach of your contract .
In other circumstances, however, it can be much more difficult to tell if a contract was breached or not. For example, if your contract called for a smooth drywall finish and the walls are rough, it can be a difficult objective determination to assess whether the walls fall within normal parameters or whether your project has not been done to spec.
An experienced Orange County real estate litigation attorney can assist you in assessing the specifics of your situation and determining if a breach occurred or not. If so, your lawyer can help you to decide whether to litigate, arbitrate, or negotiate the dispute. Whichever route you choose, your lawyer can advocate for you and argue on your behalf.
Getting Help from An Orange County Real Estate Litigation Attorney
Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can help you to make a determination on whether a breach of your construction contract occurred. If it did, we can assist you in pursuing a case in court, resolving your disagreement through arbitration, or negotiating an appropriate remedy in mediation.
To find out more about how an Orange County real estate litigation attorney can assist you in responding to problems when construction isn’t performed according to specifications, give us a call at (866)237-8129 or contact us online today.