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NEW PHONE & FAX: Phone: 512 221 0121 Fax: 512 233 2559


Contractor Problems

Contractor problems and construction defects occur on small jobs and major projects. Homeowners frequently find that the job is not finished; the contractor wants more than the original contract price; or the work is substandard and unacceptable. While a contractor can put a mechanic’s lien against your house if you don’t pay, what can you do to make them finish or correct a problem?

If the amount of your contract is over $20,000, you could file complaint against the contractor with the Texas Residential Construction Commission. When used this way, the Texas Residential Construction Commission actually can help consumers. (My complaint is that it is also a shield for Builders of New Homes.) The amount is not what is in dispute, but what the original project cost was. If the totals of the various jobs exceed $20,000, then you can file a complaint and the contractor will then be subject to some form of disciplinary action and would likely by forced to finish the job or correct the mistakes.

You can always resort to a lawsuit where a contractor can be forced to complete the work by injunctive order of a court or you could recover the costs of completing the work over the amount you would have spent. This, of course, takes time and few contractors are insured or flush with money. One remedy available in Texas that I used frequently in the past against contractors in commercial construction cases was a pre-judgment writ of garnishment. This is where you essentially impound the amount of money in dispute until the lawsuit involving your claims is tried. It is extraordinarily powerful. Whatever money they do have will likely be yours. This remedy is not suited for disputes about workmanship, but in situations where you have paid the contractor and he or she has not completed the work, it is perfect.

Another less complicated approach is to reverse the industry’s penchant for signage. Most painters, remodelers and other small residential contractors like to gain free advertising by placing a sign in your yard indicating they are doing or have done work on your home. If you are unsatisfied with a contractor, you can always put signage out front that says such and such did poor work. Put their name in a circle with a line through it.

You can create a web site and you can complain to the Better Business Bureau. Your First Amendment Rights enable you to say anything as long as it is the truth. Simply state the facts without emotion .


NEW PHONE & FAX: Phone: 512 221 0121 Fax: 512 233 2559

Evin G. Dugas - Attorney at Law 512.261.0044
2303 RR 620 South,   Suite 135 PMB 361,   Austin, Texas 78734
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