Unfortunately, not every contractor will be able to live up to their promises. While many will work with you to fix any mistakes or problems, there will be some who don’t. Construction projects aren’t cheap. You don’t want to find yourself spending your cash reserves on projects that aren’t up to your standards. In our latest post, we will provide some tips on how to handle bad contractors in Austin.
What if you hired a local construction company to do some work on your new home, only to find they do a bad job? Do you know how to handle bad contractors?
Prepare Ahead Of Time
With any contractor you hire in the Austin area, there is some planning to do ahead of time. Make sure the contract is detailed including all the “what-ifs” that may arise during the project. For example, how will change orders be handled? What if the project runs long or goes over budget? What will the pay schedule look like? You will want to know other things too, like what their work schedule will be like, do they carry the proper insurance, and will they be pulling all the permits for the job? Do your homework to make sure they are properly licensed for the project you are hiring them for. Doing your research beforehand will help you to avoid most of the bad contractors in the first place.
Attempt To Settle The Matter Fairly
Before calling your lawyer, do your best to resolve the situation yourself. Contractors are not going to want to receive bad reviews or have it get around that they did a bad job. In many cases, simply letting your frustrations be known will allow you to resolve the problem quickly without it escalating to the next level. If they are not able to resolve the problem themselves, try to work out a partial refund, so you can hire someone else to fix their error. When speaking to the contractor about the problem, speak calmly and professionally. Remember, mistakes can happen and being abrasive or rude won’t make them eager to resolve the problem. You attract more bees with honey as they say.
State Licensing Board
File a complaint with the state licensing board. Your complaint will be reviewed, likely with an investigation into the business. No contractor wants a blemish or the risk of losing their license. If the contractor is in the wrong, they will likely bite the bullet to avoid any further damage. If they don’t believe they are at fault, you can expect the fight to go a bit further.
File a complaint with the BBB. Many businesses don’t realize the impact of a low BBB score. The effects of complaints and bad reviews can be detrimental to a business. When researching a company online, their BBB page will likely be one of the first pages that pop up in the search results. If the business has a low BBB score, people will be wary of hiring them. The BBB makes a record or your complaint as well as what the company does to resolve the issue. Complaints can be resolved, and having it all out in the open might motivate the contractor to work more quickly to fix your problem.
Always be honest and diplomatic with your reviews. If you sound overly angry or even petty, people might brush your review off as someone having a bad day. Instead, summarize the situation and include information about your attempts to resolve the issue. Other people will want to know how the company truly does business before hiring them. You can use sites such as Google, Facebook, Angie’s List, and Home Advisor to share your experience with other individuals who are looking for construction services in the Austin area.
If the contractor is in the wrong and refusing to work with you to resolve the situation, the next step would be contacting a local attorney who specializes in these sorts of cases. This will help you get a clear understanding of the law and what your rights are. They can draft letter to the contractor in question, letting them know your settlement terms and what the next step will be should they not comply. Getting the law involved will make most businesses want to resolve the issue as opposed to battling further and risking damage to their reputation.
Depending on the cost of the damages, your next step will likely be taking the business to court. Your attorney should be able to advise if you have a case or not, saving you from wasting time and money by pursuing the issue further. When going to court, make sure you are fully prepared with contracts, documentation of all contact, costs of damages, and legal fees to date. These are things you can request be reimbursed should you win the case.