Hendersonville, NC asked in Construction Law for North Carolina

Q: Our builder walked off the job leaving us with thousands of dollars work that needs to be corrected.

We bought our lot from Mr. xxxx last year and he offered to build our home for us. He showed us several homes in the neighborhood and in the Hendersonville area that he built. Because of this we assumed he was a licensed contractor. All of our dealings with him, from when we first contacted him about selling us some land, to his building the house, were very informal. We naively thought that since he would be our next door neighbor, we could trust him to build us a good house and that we could forego getting a contract and other formalities. He is proud to let everyone know he's a retired Marine officer and one to be trusted. What he didn't tell us that it would be him and one other person building the home. The house should have been done 6 month ago. We've incurred a lot of expenses renting and furniture storage. Not to mention the stress that we endured. We'd like to know what our options are, if any, to recover some of the losses incurred with this project.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Jake Andrew Snider
Jake Andrew Snider
Answered
  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Asheville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Getting your arms around this dilemma is going to be complicated and will require the assistance of a licensed attorney, preferably someone in your geographic area who is experienced in both construction law and litigation.

It sounds like you technically had a "contract" with the builder; however, it also sounds like the "contract" was primarily oral, which is going to generate all kinds of headaches in determining precisely what the contract terms were. If you have emails and text messages with him, then these might give you some guidance and a possible leg up. Other issues you'll have to look into are whether the contractor is/was insured for liability; whether your damages might be covered under the policy; and whether he is able to pay a settlement or judgment if you initiate litigation.

I cannot emphasize this enough: Contact a qualified lawyer right away to determine your rights and options for recovery.

Paige Kurtz
Paige Kurtz
Answered
  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: You should absolutely consult with an attorney as this is a breach of contract by the general contractor. It sounds as if there may also be issues with the contractor's licensing and you may need to address that as well. Locate an attorney that handles construction law issues and get some advise now.

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