Petaluma, CA asked in Construction Law for California

Q: Construction: we are using a contractor who we’ve lost confidence in.

We have a major rebuild for which we have a construction loan. Our contractor rarely comes by our job site and the project is run primarily by his crew. There are many parts that have been poorly constructed. Including support beams that hold up our new roof. His invoices are emails that demand funds with few to no details of the charged amounts. We believe he uses all unlicensed subs. We are only on the framing of the house.

What should we be cautious of when we consider firing him? We don’t want to pay his last invoice until some repairs are made…can we do that?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James A. Greer
James A. Greer
  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Boulder, CO
  • Licensed in California

A: Dear Major Rebuild With Contractor Troubles: these types of situations are tricky, and it's nearly impossible in this forum to issue out a set of instructions to you (this, from a 35 year attorney who is a developer and a licensed Contractor). You have overlays of Contractor's counter-claim of breach and even Mechanic's Lien. Everything needs to be IN WRITING leading up to any sort of termination. The dispute mechanisms in the Construction Contract come into play as well. All I can say at this point is that if there's a sizable amount of money at stake, investing in a solid experienced construction attorney will be well worth the minor cost of guiding you through these next difficult steps.

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