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Attorneys James R. “JR” Clary, Jr., Christopher S. Suba, Casey D. Neale and Briton J. Myer

Modern materials can make it easier for contractors to trick you

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2020 | Construction Law

When you pay for a custom-built home or a remodel of an existing space, you likely have a specific vision about the finished product, regardless of whether you plan to live there forever or put the home on the market soon after the work is complete.

Sometimes, work that seems to have been done according to your instructions later turns out to be lower quality than you initially thought. It was once hard for contractors to trick homeowners about the quality of materials used in a construction or remodel project. However, the technology used to create synthetic materials, including flooring, has improved to a point where you may not immediately notice the substitution of lower-quality materials.

Contractors could use cheaper, lower-cost materials like vinyl flooring in place of the hardwood you requested and paid for, thereby reducing the resale value of your home and the value of the construction work done. When you discover that a contractor intentionally tricked you and installed lower-cost and lower-quality materials, you may need to take action by pursuing construction litigation.

Cheap materials are probably a breach of your contract

When you discussed your vision and desires for the home remodel or new home construction that you paid for, you likely explained exactly what you wanted to the professionals doing the work. The details of your preferred materials, colors and turnaround time are likely all in the contract you executed with the contractor.

Reviewing your contract or going over negotiation records can help you affirm what materials you requested. When contractors intentionally do something contrary to your request, especially if they lie or hide that fact, you may have grounds for a breach-of-contract claim against the company.

Why would contractors risk their reputation with a sneaky substitution?

Many construction professionals and contractors rely on word-of-mouth recommendations and customer reviews in order to draw in new clients. However, some companies can stay in business just by underbidding all of the competition, no matter how bad their reviews are.

Using cheaper materials can be a great way for a company to increase the profit margins on a project that they under-bid for in order to secure the contract. Holding them responsible by taking them to court will possibly deter the same behavior in the future, as it will drive home the costs they risk if they get caught.