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Construction Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Libel & Slander, Contracts, Civil Litigation and Construction Law for California on
Q: 2 party consent. I have a security camera that records 24/7. I had a roof installer come inside to discuss about prices.

Got my roof installed, representative quoted me 27k and guaranteed that my roof wouldn't exceed the 15% included roof replacement. In the end, my roof was bad and he requested another 10k. Gave me a 4k discount but still was unhappy. The whole roofing project was sloppy and poor workmanship.... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jun 15, 2024

Under California's two-party consent law, it is illegal to record confidential conversations without the consent of all parties involved. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, particularly when there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Here are a few key points to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Construction Law and Energy, Oil and Gas for Missouri on
Q: Do I owe my electrician money?

I received a quote for whole house rewiring and finishing. It was divided into the rewiring and finishing and then the second line item was for new amp service. He did the new amp service to my knowledge and the rewiring. I paid him 60% of the total bill which I thought was paid in full for the... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jun 13, 2024

If you received a quote, agreed for him to do the work, and he started doing the work but hasn't finished it, you have a contract even if you do not have a fully integrated written document commemorating of the terms of your agreement.

If you breach the agreement by not allowing him to...
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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: How do I recover a down payment to a general contracting company that is making no effort to communicate or do the work?

Contract signed for project and down payment paid in March. Contractor never contacted me again. I complained to the contractor company then was given a new contractor who is doing the same as the prior contractor. Verbally, the agreement with the first contractor and second contractor was to... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jun 10, 2024

It depends on the nature of the job and what a reasonable time for completion of that particular job is.

In a contract, the parties usually must explicitly agree on a firm completion date if it is important to the parties when the work must be performed. The phrase used to describe this...
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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: How do I recover a down payment to a general contracting company that is making no effort to communicate or do the work?

Contract signed for project and down payment paid in March. Contractor never contacted me again. I complained to the contractor company then was given a new contractor who is doing the same as the prior contractor. Verbally, the agreement with the first contractor and second contractor was to... View More

Bruce Martin Broyles
Bruce Martin Broyles
answered on Jun 11, 2024

Recently had a decision from the Fifth District that held that the contract did not have a completion date, and the contract did not state that "time was of the essence", therefore the absence from the project for even a long period of time was not a material breach. Attempting to... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I’m a NY resident buying new construction in Florida. What are rules around using escrow $$ for developer const costs

We were advised that developers “CANNOT” use funds from a NY buyer on a Florida purchase. Can you confirm? Thx

Pamela Marie Mori Holcombe
Pamela Marie Mori Holcombe
answered on Jun 10, 2024

Unfortunately, no attorney here on Justia can address the situation posed here without a review of the contract for purchase and sale and any agreement with the escrow/closing agent. In general, there is no prohibition on out of state buyers purchasing property in Florida, although recent... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: We failed final inspection, but our contractor wants final payment and is threatening a lien.

For our 300sqft addition, our contractor graded the existing property 3 feet below the existing soil level, exposing the foundation of the existing perimeter structures. We failed final inspection on 9 items (8 were uncompleted scope items, and one was that this exposed existing structure... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jun 3, 2024

Under California law, a contractor is generally not entitled to final payment until the contracted work is completed to the agreed-upon standards and has passed all required inspections. Since your project failed final inspection on multiple items, including the safety hazard caused by... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Missouri on
Q: Can we subtract cost to fix contractor's mistake from final invoice or do we have to pay and then sue for reimbursement?

Just closed on new construction home and moved in with verbal agreement with contractor that he would fix drainage issues in yard. Two attempts to correct were unsuccessful. Photos and email sent to contractor showing water still pooling. No response. We contacted reputable landscape/excavation... View More

Ronald J. Eisenberg
Ronald J. Eisenberg
answered on Jun 1, 2024

A lot of money is at issue. Have an attorney read the contract and do a consultation. The answer to your question is “it depends.” If you pay then sue you may face an affirmative defense of the “voluntary payment doctrine.” But there’s a type of claim to which case law holds that... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for California on
Q: Construction contact question

I paid a construction company to build an ADU via lenders and I can't get an answer from them on any updates. I want to get my money back.

Delaram Keshvarian
Delaram Keshvarian
answered on Jun 2, 2024

Thank you for your question!

You need to document all your requests for an update and lack of any progress on your project.

If the company fails to respond in a reasonable amount of time, you send them a demand letter with the help of a lawyer.

If the negotiation fails, you...
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3 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Construction Law for California on
Q: Construction contact question

I paid a construction company to build an ADU via lenders and I can't get an answer from them on any updates. I want to get my money back.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 31, 2024

Under California law, if you paid a construction company to build an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) and they are unresponsive about updates, there are steps you can take to seek a resolution. First, review your contract to understand the terms and conditions, including any clauses about project... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Contracts, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: How does the Defendant need to present his defense and supporting documents in a Trial De Novo - Small Claims Appeal?

No written contract signed by P & D for the repairs on D prop. P did some work without giving any quote based on a verbal agreement that he would accept whatever the insu would pay. P told D that the claim would be 20K but the insu approved 10K. In a week then D had to go out of state. D bought... View More

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
answered on May 31, 2024

A home building contractor is governed by the Contractor’s State License Law (Bus & P C §§7000 et seq). This law defines a “contractor” very broadly to include anyone who does any work on a building project of any kind. Home improvement projects worth more than $500 must be in writing... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Contracts, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: How does the Defendant need to present his defense and supporting documents in a Trial De Novo - Small Claims Appeal?

No written contract signed by P & D for the repairs on D prop. P did some work without giving any quote based on a verbal agreement that he would accept whatever the insu would pay. P told D that the claim would be 20K but the insu approved 10K. In a week then D had to go out of state. D bought... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 31, 2024

In a Trial De Novo for a small claims appeal in the Superior Court of California, you need to present your defense and supporting documents clearly and concisely. Start by organizing all relevant documents, including receipts for the $2,000 payment, proof of purchase for supplies, and any... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Michigan on
Q: What is my legal obligation to a year old contract I signed with a gutter company.

My son signed a contract with Magic Window company to have gutters put on his house last year, May 2023. There was no date set for installation and no work has been done. The sales person did not contact them again until this month. The contract had a 3 day cooling off period. My son is now being... View More

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
answered on May 30, 2024

Let them. Did the contract indicate a start date? Arguably, pulling a permit is an indication the company intended to start. But what would explain the year-long delay beyond that? I think the deposit may be lost unless there is a showing of your son attempting to contact the company about... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Michigan on
Q: Michigan construction company stalled on every step, lied about when windows made to order were ordered & installed.

We have pretty good records of dates, pictures, delays, etc. We have windows that have been left exposed to the elements since the fall, winter, and now spring. We had another replacement window supposedly ordered in December that still hasn't been installed, duck tape on windows inside and... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 28, 2024

I'm sorry to hear about the troubles you're facing with the construction company. First, gather all your documentation, including photos, written agreements, and records of communication. This evidence will be crucial in any legal or formal complaint process.

Next, contact a local...
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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Appeals / Appellate Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: How to print and present text messages on cell phones as evidence in court?

There are numerous text messages back and forth between the Plaintiff and the Defendant.

1) How to print and present all the text messages from cell phones as evidence in court for Trial De Novo - Small Claims Appeal? To take a photo of each text message and print that photo seems very... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 28, 2024

Here are some tips for preparing and presenting text messages as evidence in court:

1. Authenticate the messages. You'll need to prove the messages are authentic, not altered or fabricated. Options include having the other party admit the messages are authentic, having a witness who...
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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Appeals / Appellate Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: How to print and present text messages on cell phones as evidence in court?

There are numerous text messages back and forth between the Plaintiff and the Defendant.

1) How to print and present all the text messages from cell phones as evidence in court for Trial De Novo - Small Claims Appeal? To take a photo of each text message and print that photo seems very... View More

Delaram Keshvarian
Delaram Keshvarian
answered on May 28, 2024

You can use different software such as Decipher TextMessage, iMazing, PhoneView (Mac), etc. make sure the software insert time, phone number, and other relevant information.

Authentication is usually required by a declaration or other methods.

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Florida on
Q: what happens if the lender releases the funds to the contractor without prior approval of the borrower.

draws were released to the contractor by the lender without approval and the last draw was released without a certificate of completion. The contractor stated that the inspections were done but the owner never received any confirmation or request for approval of release or notification of release... View More

Pamela Marie Mori Holcombe
Pamela Marie Mori Holcombe
answered on May 22, 2024

Unfortunately, no attorney here on Justia can review the construction loan agreement with the bank and/or the construction agreement with the contractor as to the terms and conditions and whether the release of the funds was a breach of the agreements. As with many issues relating to construction... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Construction Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Can a company force payment in full for materials you refuse, even after they had a deposit on the purchase agreement?

Ordered a pergola- which was about $32k, placed a 20% deposit on materials. Hired a contractor through the materials company which advised 60 days later that it would not be able to be installed due to permitting requirements that will not be feasible without a significant investment to restructure... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 22, 2024

In California, the enforceability of a contract requiring full payment for custom materials, even if the buyer refuses delivery, depends on the specific terms of the purchase agreement and the circumstances surrounding the transaction.

Generally, a deposit serves as a form of security for...
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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Construction Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Can a company force payment in full for materials you refuse, even after they had a deposit on the purchase agreement?

Ordered a pergola- which was about $32k, placed a 20% deposit on materials. Hired a contractor through the materials company which advised 60 days later that it would not be able to be installed due to permitting requirements that will not be feasible without a significant investment to restructure... View More

Scott Richard Kaufman
Scott Richard Kaufman
answered on May 21, 2024

The general rule in CA in a number of places/ways is simply, you did not get what you paid for and you are entitled to a full refund. Sounds like they will NOT give it voluntarily. Their position seeking payment in full is not based on any law I've ever heard of. Regardless, their position... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: What can I do about a contractor's unsatisfactory repair work?

My house was caught on fire back in February 2022. During the time we were displaced and were renting a home paid for by my home insurance, our contractor stated that they hadn't begun work yet pending permit approval etc. In April 2023 when my insurance displacement funding ran out,... View More

Delaram Keshvarian
Delaram Keshvarian
answered on May 19, 2024

Thank you for your question!

You can bring a breach of contract, implied warranty, express warranty, or tort damages (e.g., negligent, emotional distress).

The house may need to be examined by an expert to testify about the damages.

Different factors may be involved such...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: What can I do about a contractor's unsatisfactory repair work?

My house was caught on fire back in February 2022. During the time we were displaced and were renting a home paid for by my home insurance, our contractor stated that they hadn't begun work yet pending permit approval etc. In April 2023 when my insurance displacement funding ran out,... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 15, 2024

Under California law, you have several options to address unsatisfactory repair work by a contractor:

1. Contact the contractor: First, try to resolve the issue directly with the contractor. Provide a detailed list of the problems and request that they fix the issues under warranty. Keep...
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