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Texas Construction Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Texas on
Q: Can a client withhold payment from one job if there was accidental damage to yard after the fact

I put in a fence and the client is satisfied with the work. However, after completion, the gentleman accidently created a divot in the yard. Client does not want to pay for the fence until the divot is complete. Hired someone to fix it and they were still not satisfied

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Dec 1, 2022

In the absence of contractual language to the contrary (which would be highly unusual), a customer cannot withhold payment for a satisfactorily completed project as a result of subsequent accidental damage to the yard not caused by the contractor or its workers/subs.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Construction Law for Texas on
Q: We had a contractor do some work. inspection done, not great, can we sue for the labor we paid.

We had a contractor come in to remove existing framing and put in new framing per plans. Most of the studs are anywhere from 13 to 21 inches apart and warped studs, per inspector. He also did not follow plans. We do not want this contractor back on the property. Can we sue for labor and cost of... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Oct 25, 2022

When a contractor does non-conforming work, you have the choice of either accepting or rejecting such work.

Non-conforming work is work that is not defective but which fails to conform to the plans.

Think you wanted the paint to be salmon in color but instead they used coral...
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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: The general contractor did not pay the subcontractor for landscaping work for the house and lien is going to be in place

AUSTIN TEXAS: I have paid the full amount to the general contractor ($17.5K) but they have not paid the subcontractor for over 3 weeks. They ignored texts/calls and so the subcontractor stopped by our house to let us know that they are going to file a lien against our house.

What do we... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Oct 18, 2022

Because the amount is less than $20,000, you can file suit without hiring an attorney in justice court. I would sue both the general contractor and landscaping subcontractor in justice court.

Given the small amount involved, it would most likely not be cost effective to hire an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Texas on
Q: My contractor abruptly stopped work 3 weeks ago and is unreachable. How do I proceed?

Homeowner in Texas. I contracted with (name withheld) for concrete and electrical work. I paid 50% upon signing. Work started 5 weeks after the estimated start date. They worked 3 days (some light excavation) and then all communication abruptly ceased 3 weeks ago. The contractor is unreachable by... Read more »

Jaime Victor Papa
Jaime Victor Papa
answered on Sep 21, 2022

If I were to take this case, I would start by reading your contract and creating an effective litigation strategy. After outlining the strategy, I would move forward with the plan. It looks like you have taken a few steps already, but it does not look like you have taken any formal steps. If your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Construction Law and Contracts for Texas on
Q: Can a contractor alter the terms of a contract for a septic system because the equipment he has won't work?

The contractor already accepted the money from the manufactured home company where we got the loan through to do the work on the septic system. Now he says because his mini excavator cannot penetrate The Rock underneath the dirt that we're going to have to spend an extra $2000 to put in an... Read more »

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Sep 7, 2022

That depends on the wording of your contract with the contractor and what it says about subsurface soil conditions and the allocation of risks. You should take your written contract to an experienced construction law attorney for a consultation. If the contract is not overly long, you should be... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Texas on
Q: How do I start a law suit on a solar company. The installers caused my house to burn down

The installers had to reset the tracts across the entire roof left original holes open my house flooded they sent an inspector out he said they were at fault. The company said they would fix my roof This was in December 2020 we started having issues with the outlets and breakers popping we would... Read more »

Arturo C. Aguilar
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Arturo C. Aguilar PRO label
answered on Aug 20, 2022

I am terribly sorry this happened to you.

I recommend not taking serious legal action on your own, since there are many legal issues, deadlines and hurdles which are difficult to cross as a pro se plaintiff.

But to answer your question you would have to sue the company and serve...
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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for Texas on
Q: I signed a solar contract on March 9th 2022. Contract stated install within 65 days but could have unforeseen variables

It has been 5 months and they kept blaming cps for delays. I have been in contact with CPS and they show no active work order on my account. Found out today they messed up on the contract and cps has been rejecting it. They want me to sign a new contract. Stated if I don't original contract is... Read more »

Arturo C. Aguilar
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Arturo C. Aguilar PRO label
answered on Aug 20, 2022

You should not have to sign a new contract. The former contract is valid and enforceable. If you sign the new contract, you will have waived any remedy at law or in equity.

Unforeseen variables must be reasonable, but without actually reading your contract, I cannot be for sure. Here are...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Texas on
Q: What can I do??? Help

We closed on our home in April 2022. Have made two payments already! Still not living in it. Our general contractor hired a sub contractor to do our floor. Has attempted 3 times, left a razor blade in my daughters closet in the epoxy! Now is not answering calls or texts. And our general contractor... Read more »

John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr.
answered on Jul 14, 2022

I can answer your question generally. But I would want to see your contract or written agreement to be sure of how to advise you.

I'm assuming that the mortgage you are paying is for a COMPLETED house. Meaning all the construction, including laying the floors, were part of your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Texas on
Q: Is it legal for a contractor to post pictures of the outside of your home on social media?
John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr.
answered on May 1, 2022

The simple answer is NO!

Not without permission. If someone wants to use your image or an image of a property you own, for the sake of doing business, they must be given permission. I'll bet there was buried somewhere in your contract, where you have given the builder or the Genral...
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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Construction Law for Texas on
Q: What will happen to the lien on Texas house after contractor filled bankruptcy Chp7? He perfected the lien before BK.

Lien is bonded and he started the lawsuit but now gone bankrupt.

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
answered on Mar 15, 2022

You should move to avoid the lien in his bankruptcy.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Texas on
Q: Can a home builder list specific address(es) with a lower price on their own website, then tell you a higher price?

Can a home builder, who has their own sales team, list specific address(es) with a low price on their own website, then list the same property on realtor.com and zillow.com with the same low price but when a buyer who wants to put a contract offer, for that specific address, in at the listed price,... Read more »

John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr.
answered on Feb 21, 2022

This is a contract law question. The issue is whether or not the posted price is an "offer." I believe it is, however, I would need to see the exact language of the posting to better advise you. Plus, Real Estate laws require a RE contract to be signed before the parties a bound.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Texas on
Q: If I bought a home five years ago and found subpar materials were used 20 years ago can I hold anyone accountable?
John Cucci Jr.
John Cucci Jr.
answered on Feb 7, 2022

Each state has its own laws regarding lawsuits based in contract and home warranty.

In Texas your problem with the quality of the house is too old to be able to sue.

However, if you had a professional home inspector review the house prior to purchase, there may be some time left to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Workers' Compensation and Construction Law for Texas on
Q: If I work on the house I'm living in can I charge my landlord for the labour I put in

My landlord basically said If I hire someone to work on my house then he will not pay for the labor but he didn't say if I worked on the house that I couldn't charge him for labor

S. Michael Graham
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S. Michael Graham
answered on Jan 13, 2022

No. You would need a contract. Otherwise it would be deemed a gift. Contracts involving real estate need to be in writing. This would be a contract for services so I not too sure. Always better to have something in writing. Good Luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Construction Law for Texas on
Q: if a vendor for construction material is suing me, and I filed chapter 13 and I closed my buisness. will it take care of
Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
answered on Jan 23, 2021

Yes, if it was included as a creditor in your 13.

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law, Construction Law, Domestic Violence and Education Law for Texas on
Q: Remedies for protective order falsely obtained

Protective orders used to recover property coowner

Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
answered on Dec 27, 2020

If you were served notice of an upcoming protective order hearing, and the attached application included false accusations, then you should hire an attorney to contest the issuance of the order. A protective order is a civil matter, even if the justification is an accusation of criminal behavior,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Construction Law and Land Use & Zoning for Texas on
Q: As a recent property owner, there's a pipeline easement that was recently purchased by the developer.

They are requesting a "contribution" in a contract agreement to abandon the easement. Do I have to pay any "contribution" requested from the easement holder to abandon the easement? What are my options to terminate the easement that has not been in use for over 40 years and is no longer be needed.

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter
answered on Nov 24, 2020

It sounds like the developer is trying to make arrangements for an agreement to abandon the easement. If they're asking for a "contribution" that sounds like a voluntary thing, but it's not clear where the easement runs. If you are one of the property owners across which the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Environmental and Real Estate Law for Texas on
Q: We need to sue a developer and the county permitting office but cannot afford a lawyer. What can we do?

.

Teri A. Walter
Teri A. Walter
answered on Nov 23, 2020

It is unlikely that you will be able to sue the county permitting office - there's a principle called "sovereign immunity" that prevents most suits against government agencies or employees.

As to the developer, it's impossible to tell you what needs to be done without...
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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Texas on
Q: What is the minimum depth for cable burial in arkansas
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Nov 5, 2020

An Arkansas attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for four weeks. At this point, you could try reaching out to a Professional Engineer in Arkansas or to the Civil Engineering departments of major Arkansas electric utility companies if you are asking about electrical cable, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Construction Law and Small Claims for Texas on
Q: Roofer put wrong shingles on my roof. What can I do?

We have had our roof replaced which was covered in our insurance. He came and we agreed on a color and he gave us the packet with a brochure with our selected shingle color and style. When he filled out the contract he did not put down the same style as the brochure we had agreed to. The specific... Read more »

Matthew Scott Williams
Matthew Scott Williams
answered on Aug 25, 2020

Yes. You may certainly ask that the issue be remedied; however, whether the roofer will agree is unlikely.

Unfortunately for you, Texas courts strictly enforce the "four corners" of a contract - meaning the parties are held to the actual words and their plain meaning contained in the contract.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Construction Law for Texas on
Q: Good Afternoon, I am a Texas subcontractor, I recently got a letter with lienholder can you help ?

The worker who is claiming he didn't got paid, did a job prior to the job in dispute, that job had a leak issue and so caused several damages to the property, this worked had done the work after so had founds that i was going to pay however at the time of asking for proof that the repair was... Read more »

Matthew Scott Williams
Matthew Scott Williams
answered on Aug 7, 2020

More information is needed; clarification of the facts would better help me analyze your case.

In general, a dispute with a subcontractor on job "A" needs to be dealt with separate and apart from a subsequent dispute with same subcontract on job "B". In general, you...
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