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California Construction Law Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on

Q: Hired a home depot contractorand he quit how can i get help?

I went to home depot to have a new door installed. I talked to an employee. They took down my info and said contractors would contact me. One of their contractors started the door install. We started talking about a remodel of bath and kitchen. He started the next day. NOW HE DID THE DEMOLITION... Read more »

James Alan Greer answered on Aug 18, 2019

Homeowner With Contractor Abandonment. Your situation sounds upsetting; I'll try to offer some guidance.

First, perhaps you should be trying to contact the actual contractor that abandoned this job - do you have their company name ? if you do you can look them up online or on the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Bankruptcy and Construction Law for California on

Q: How do I find out if a construction company I hired has filed for bankruptcy?

Timothy Denison answered on Aug 15, 2019

Open an account at and you call search all federal databases.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on

Q: We have a new pool just built and there are brown stains forman in the spa and pool and they wont do anything about it

The start up guy from the company came out one time and never seen him again now our pool is forman brown stains in the pool and spa and they wont do anything about it do i have cause for legal action

Tim Akpinar answered on Aug 9, 2019

You could set up a quick consult with a California attorney to review the contract and the options it presents to you. You could discuss arbitration (if it is a condition of the contract), small claims, or continued efforts to work toward resolution - and try to figure out which route could be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Contracts for California on

Q: Contract with construction company. Paid them over $800,000 found out that the actual cost was $400,000.

Found out that the contractor (employee of the company) charged us $800,000 to remodel our house the owner of the company said that the actual cost was $480,000. Our contract stated that we would pay the cost of the work done plus 15% for the contractors fee. This work was completed in 2012. We... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 25, 2019

Unless you have provable evidence of fraud you may have run out of time to da anything about this very unusual situation. And before you move in the direction of suing for fraud you should hire a lawyer experienced in real estate and business contracting law. You may find out that the owner of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for California on

Q: Can a prime contractor require closeout documents from their subcontractors before any progress payments are made?

I have a job which is complete now. My first progress billing was April. My final billing was May. Neither have been paid to me, yet the prime contractor has required all closeout documents, including warranties to be submitted. Further stating all progress payments will be held until documents are... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jun 26, 2019

Since this is the end of June, it sounds like the primary contractor has had trouble getting his progress payments from the buyer, or whoever is building the property. Here is the bottom line: Regardless of what you "have always believed" about progress payments and when documents are due, and... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on

Q: How Long Does a Restoration Company Have to Perform On a Contract ?

In December of 2018 my home sustained over 45,000 interior damage rendering it uninhabitable . I signed a contract with a licensed , reputable restoration company February 20, 2019 for repairs . Contract appears legal but the start and end date of work was left blank . Explanation given “ we may... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 28, 2019

Based upon your description of what happened it sounds like you have good reason to ask the builder for a statement of the work done, and then pay the builder some reasonable amount (especially for materials) and cancel the contract IN WRITING. However, before you do that you might want to look... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Construction Law for California on

Q: If someone fraudulently got my ssn and 1099 me but never had a signed w9 from me, can i fight this lie?

I worked for the person contracted to do this job and he couldnt contact them at tax time so he pretended to be someone else to get my ssn. I did cash some checks from him cause he claimed he couldnt withdraw the money and i had acheck cashing account. i cashed them for him to pay the people... Read more »

David S. Greenberg answered on Apr 24, 2019

I have represented a taxpayer in a situation quite similar to yours. My approach led to the IRS completely exonerating my client.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Workers' Compensation and Construction Law for California on

Q: Travel is done on my own time and compensated with $20 per diem for traveling steel/iron worker?

I just started a new job as a traveling steel/ Iron worker. The company is an ESOP.

I was reading over my employees handbook and came across this paragraph."Nonexempt hourly employees that travel and business are paid for hours spent traveling as outlined below: REGULAR TRAVEL: Regular... Read more »

Neil Pedersen answered on Apr 4, 2019

There are a lot of facts and documents that would need to be known to give a definitive answer. Union membership and collective bargaining agreement provisions would need to be known. Generally, without a CBA that might be allowed to modify the law in general, you must be paid for travel at a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Construction Law and Consumer Law for California on

Q: So I been living at my house for 17 years since I was 15 the man passed away can they kick me out with no eviction

I have no family he took care of me and payed all my bills I don't know what to do he did everything for me for 17 years

Scott Richard Kaufman answered on Mar 4, 2019

I would think YES they have to "evict" you. That's likely to happen FAST. At 30+ years old, now is as good a time as any to go and grow up and join the adult community out there and experience the outside world! Sorry for your loss. Good luck with you!

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on

Q: What is a mechanic's lien?

Tim Akpinar answered on Dec 7, 2018

In general, a mechanic’s lien is a security interest against someone’s property. It can arise if a homeowner fails to pay a contractor who performs work and the contractor files the lien. If you are involved with a mechanic’s lien and require more in-depth information, consult with an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on

Q: Our contractor seems to have abandoned our project, no contact in 3 wks. He left many tools. When can I sell his tools?

Very strange, he won't return calls or texts. We know he's alive because of recent social media postings. Our project is not complete and he has some materials we already paid for. We will have to hire somebody else to finish the project. He has left at least $1000 dollars worth of tools at our... Read more »

Hung Le answered on Dec 4, 2018

First, it's better you look at the contract to see if (i) any period required for a contract termination; (ii) if the answer is yes, then you have to follow it, and you will have your entitlement to sell tools left at your house. If the answer is no, (or you think it is worthy doing so) then you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on

Q: I purchased a home with a backyard patio that was not permitted. Can I take legal action?

The owner did disclose that it was not permitted, however, failed to inform us that the city opened a case against them. Now the tear down costs are beyond our financial means. Any advice?

Thomas A. Grossman answered on Aug 14, 2018

If at the time the seller disclosed to you that the patio was not permitted they knew that the City had opened a claim against them, you might be able to sue the seller for the tear-down costs you are now incurring, which they should be responsible for.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on

Q: Signed contract with general contractor. I gave him $19k to start and I have my receipt to prove. My home not finished.

This contract was signed by me and contractor Southerland Torres Construction back on March 28, 2018. I am living/renting at Extended Stay Hotel. Contractor told me work will only take 6weeks total. So I thought ok I can do this hotel thing. Well, I gave the man my money $19k and all he did was put... Read more »

Dale S. Gribow answered on Jul 24, 2018

i had a similar thing happen to me................obviously a crook

was he licensed? report to the licensing board? sue in small claims for up to $10k but getting a judgment is just the first step. Then you have to get him to pay.

you can also go to the local court where he has...
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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Consumer Law and Small Claims for California on

Q: Signed Constructn Contrct March28,2018.Suppose to be 6wks to rehab house.Total bid $28k, I gav $19k cash but No workDONE

Contractor hired from a referral website called I got several estimates before I chose him. We agreed that he fix home just the minimum needed so I can move into it. Because I'm staying in a hotel with my dog. I was in a hurry its too expensive. Contractor told me he take only 6weeks... Read more »

William John Light answered on Jul 3, 2018

File a complaint with the State Contractor's License Board (

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on

Q: My contractor's project manager advised had me write out the checks under his name. LAPD told me to sue the company.

I hired a licensed contractor who sent me their project manager (PM). I signed a contract 178K. First check went to the company. The PR told me to start writing the checks out to his name (I did, a total of 108K). After the first check to him I called the company to make sure that the PR was still... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Jun 19, 2018

It is not clear why you signed another contract with this company while your dispute remained unresolved. If you were making progress payments, it is also not clear why most of the work was not completed. You need to get out of a public forum and into a consultation with an attorney promptly.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on

Q: Contractor hired not on the license, nor an employee of the co. in which he said he’s a partner. Is contract valid?

Hired contractor for full condo remodel. Contractor failed to use Home Improvement Contract. He provided a license number and listed a construction company that he said he owns with another person. CSLB shows contractor’s name is not on the license, and company lists zero employees. Is contract... Read more »

John T. Kontrabecki answered on May 11, 2018

The contract is void. A construction agreement entered into with a contractor who is not licensed in the state of California is an illegal contract and therefore void. It may also be fraudulent.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on

Q: Our contractor has skipped town after making some shoddy repairs to our house - what's the next step here?

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Feb 23, 2018

Check your contract for an arbitration clause, but generally, make a claim on the bond, file suit, contact the Contractor's State Licensing Board. Of course get estimates and make repairs (at the evry least enough to keep from making things worse.)

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Construction Law for California on

Q: A construction company did work on my home and now the work is falling apart and after several calls they havent come

We have a written document where it states we have a 20 year warranty. We have even talked to the project manager and he has said he’s on his way and he nor any workers have showed up at my home to fix the work. I’m not sure what my next step should be

William John Light answered on Dec 29, 2017

You can file a complaint with the State Contractor's License Board.

You can also retain an attorney for a lawsuit, but that takes money.

2 Answers | Asked in Insurance Defense, Construction Law and Real Estate Law for California on

Q: Condo flooded by upstairs neighbor kitchen remodel.

Owner, contractor, and HOA insurance all notified but each claim the other shares liability. What are my rights as a third-party claimant? My own insurance does not fully cover the loss. Someone else is responsible. I don't want to start reconstruction until I have money to reconstruct.

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Nov 20, 2017

Not sure what your theory is against the HOA - if there is one, they can be included in a lawsuit. Otherwise, you can sue the upstairs neighbor (and their contractor since you've already uncovered who they are). The insurance companies have a duty to try and settle a loss after liability has... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Construction Law for California on

Q: Bought a house last may 2017. Builder stated in contract 4kw of solar. Solar company said only 3kw installed.

We are incurring huge electricity bills. We want a 4kw solar, it is our basis for buying the house.. But builder will not fix it, they will only give us a refund. But we dont want a refund. We want a 4kw since the cost of PG&E electricity in our city is higher that other cities. Only me, my husband... Read more »

Gerald Barry Dorfman answered on Nov 15, 2017

To some extent, your remedies will depend on the contract for the house. In addition to fraud and breach of contract, you may have actions for false advertising and under the unfair competition statutes. You have not said how long it has been since you bought the house - you should consult with... Read more »

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