There is nothing like unlocking the door for the first time and stepping into your custom home. You are the first to walk the hallways, the first to cook in the kitchen, the first to sleep in the master bedroom.
Building a new home allows you to select all of the fits and finishes (carpeting, paint color, floorplan — even how many electrical outlets you want and where you want them). You select the location or you can build on property that you already own.
It really does seem like a dream. But, sometimes, if you run into problems with your builder, the process can be less smooth.
The best way to not a have a problem is to research the company before contracting with them.
Some builders can go their entire careers without a single legal issue and others are plagued with them constantly. You can check with the state attorney general for past or present law suits and also with your local Home Builders Association to see if the company is a member and if they have ever been in not good standing because of their business practices. Online reviews can be bought but these sources can get you excellent legitimate information.
So many things can happen when building a home.
Unscrupulous contractors can make big promises that their skill levels or experience cannot deliver.
Subcontractors hired by your general contractor can be flakey, unlicensed or just plain unethical.
With so many plates spinning at the same time, it’s not unusual for one (or more) of them to fall to the ground.
Most problems can be solved if you are dealing with a reputable builder. Sometimes, it just might be a matter of miscommunication between you and the contractor or his/her subs.
In fact, many problems can be avoided before they happen by having a clear understanding of the project’s scope and the home’s specifications prior to the start of work. Also, be sure to use a builder who provides a warranty for his/her work. Some builders offer a 10-year warranty for most major parts of the home.
But what happens when, despite your best laid plans, something goes wrong?
What if you walk into that new dream home, only to find a flood when you flush the toilet?
Or what happens if your backyard fills with water when you turn on the sprinkler?
What if the windows of your brand-new home frost over and allow in cold air?
When these problems occur, your first instinct might be to hire an attorney. In fact, there is an entire legal specialty to address construction issues. Filing a lawsuit isn’t always the best solution.
There are many options when it comes to coping with construction-related concerns. Sure, you can hire a law firm to work on your behalf, but their fees may be exorbitant and cost more than the project’s problems are to fix. Your best bet is to address the contractor directly. If that is not an option, consider working with an arbitrator. An effective arbitration session can resolve issues between you and your contractor, often a workable solution can be found without investing your time and money in lengthy litigation.
When all else fails, you should look to a well-regarded law firm to represent your interests. Oftentimes, your lawyer can reach a settlement with the builder rather than taking the matter to court.