The contractor whom you hired to put siding on your barn has finished the job. As he hands you the bill you tell him that you are not happy with his work. The contractor insists that he did everything according to the terms of the contract and he expects to be paid. The two of you have reached a deadlock and you don’t know what to do.
Handling a dispute with a contractor can be tricky. Referring back to the original contract is a good place to start. Most contracts have a conflict resolution clause for moments such as this one. If you end up taking the contractor to court you will want the judge to know that you followed the steps to try to resolve the issue.
How to resolve a dispute with a contractor
There are several ways that you may be able to resolve your issue with the contractor:
- Have a conversation. Sometimes, an honest discussion about your concerns is all it takes for the contractor to try to make things right. Clearly explain why you are unhappy and how you would like the problem to be fixed. If this doesn’t resolve the situation, move on to the next step.
- Find a mediator. A third party who is objective may be able to help the two of you settle the matter without going to court. If an agreement is not reached, you may want to consider arbitration.
- Go to court if all other attempts to resolve the issue have failed. Allowing a judge to make a final ruling in a contract dispute case may be your best option.
When you have a construction dispute that won’t go away, it may be time to explore all your legal options.