4 Steps to Address Bad Work by a Builder
I bought a new house and there are many details that I am unhappy with. Among other things, the linoleum looks crooked, and so does the ceramic tile upgrade in the entry. I have a warranty, and I have complained to my builder. I am not sure what my rights are. The builder tells me that I am complaining about things that are “normal”. Who can I turn to for advice.
Step Three: If step two reveals that your claim may be legitimate, you should notify the builder again (in writing), advising him of your findings (include supportive documentation), and inform him that he must respond within 10 days or further action will be taken. This will usually do the trick.
Step Four (further action): We would hope you don’t get to this point, but if you did, here are other alternatives: A good bet is to notify the Contractor’s State License Board (CSLB) of your dilemma. Do this in writing. Send them copies of all correspondence between you and your contractor, and include a copy of your building department or home inspection report as well. Although the CSLB usually will not respond quickly to matters of small financial significance, this is the best place to look for powerful yet low cost legal assistance.
The Better Business Bureau also can be helpful in these matters. A phone call will prompt them to send you the appropriate claim forms. According to sources at the BBB, 85% of all home improvement claims are resolved to the consumer’s satisfaction.
The American Arbitration Association is another super approach. It’s time-consuming, and it costs about $200 to start the ball rolling, but we feel their pool of special investigators (arbitrators) are quite professional. If the contractor agrees, a hearing (usually at your home) is arranged to include you, your contractor and the arbitrator. Unfortunately, court usually is the next and final step. We hope you aren’t forced to go that far.
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