Providing Real SolutionsSince 1999
Brent D. Ratchford photo

What can you do when a contractor charges for one type of material but uses another

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2021 | Construction Law |

Paying a contractor to build your dream home or remodel an existing property is a major investment. Most of the time, you will include detailed instructions for the project in your contract. Certain features or stylistic choices are important enough for you to explain them carefully in your contract.

For example, if you want hardwood floors installed throughout your house, you will expect a premium for the flooring itself as well as for the skilled installation that it required. Unfortunately, you might find out after you start enjoying the space that the professional you hired didn’t follow through with their promises.

Instead of putting down real wood floors, they bought cheaper laminate or composite wood and installed that instead. What rights do you have in that situation?

Look at your contract, estimate and final bill

To hold a construction professional accountable for deviations from your agreement, you have to have proof that you wanted and paid for hardwood flooring, not the cheaper laminate they installed. Anything from emails and text messages to formal agreements with the contractor can help show what you wanted and paid for versus what you received.

Determine the difference in value or the cost to make changes

There are several ways to pursue a claim against a contractor who used the wrong materials in your construction project. You might be able to ask the courts to order specific performance and have them remove the cheap laminate and replace it with the flooring you originally requested.

Alternately, you could have another professional estimate the difference in value that the material represents. It could knock thousands of dollars off the market value of your home. Finally, you could potentially ask for the full cost of having the work done or possibly a refund of the full amount you paid for the services rendered improperly.

The company’s resources and your degree of trust in their ability to make things right will dictate what you ask for, while the judge ruling in the case will have the authority to make the final decision about how to resolve your construction dispute.


FindLaw Network