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Ohio Construction Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: I hired a roofer to put a new roof & gutters on but 5 months later they are still not done.

I hired them in May and its the end of October and they have only 10 percent left to do. I have paid them 2/3 of the contract but I cant get them to come out and finished the job. they keep telling me they are really busy. Can I just not pay them the rest and hire someone else to finish or do I... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Oct 23, 2020

If you hire someone else to finish, the roofer can put a mechanic's lien on your house. That will make things messy. The roofer's contract might not have had all the required consumer protection terms, so if it went to court, the contract might be deemed invalid. If the roofer... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Construction Law and Consumer Law for Ohio on
Q: Hello, I recently had a drain field re dug in my septic system. The cost was $5500.

Within a few months the same issue began. We contacted the company who performed the initial work and through numerous attempts and 8 missed appointments on the company's end, the issue is still not fixed and our renters are threatening to move out. Additionally, the septic company instructed... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Sep 28, 2020

You can sue the contractor in small claims court up to $6000. Check your local court for the form to file. But you must present proof that the work was not done properly, so have another contractor inspect and provide a written quote for repairs. Or use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: How long does a contractor have to hold his price, if the proposal was signed and accepted and no T&C's are on proposal?

I received a proposal on 07/28/20 for a pole barn to be built. Prior to the contractor ordering the material package, we had to obtain engineered drawings and a building permit per the contractors verbal instruction. I signed and accepted the proposal same day. Today, I received a revised quote... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Sep 21, 2020

There is no specific law. If you don't agree to the increase, the contractor is unlikely to build your project. You could claim a breach of contract, select another contractor, and if the other contractor charges more for the same construction, you could sue the first contractor for the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: In Ohio: How do I fire a contractor that was hired to rehab my house after a fire? Should have been completed 4/6/20.

Work started beginning of Sept 2019, has gone on 4 months past initial completion estimate of 4/6/20. As of 8/22/20, I am still finding areas untouched that should have been cleaned of soot in the beginning. Every task done is not restored as it was, every job done has been incomplete, or not done... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Aug 24, 2020

If you believe contractor has not fulfilled the terms of the contract and is in breach, then send a written notice of termination or other method as specified in the contract. The contractor might file a mechanic's lien for the value of the work contractor claims has been done correctly. You... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Construction Law and Small Claims for Ohio on
Q: What steps do I take to get my money back?

We had a house fire, my contractor was given $40k, pulled no permits to work on my house, barely did any work and the work he did do was incorrect and has to be redone. He will not give the money back and at this point will not return phone calls.

Nicholas P. Weiss
Nicholas P. Weiss answered on Jul 21, 2020

This sounds like a violation of Ohio's home construction statute. I recommend bringing an action against him and seeking a claim against his municipal bond.

2 Answers | Asked in Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: What can I do to get my money back from a contractor who did not finish the construction they were paid for?

Work has taken 4 months longer than what contract stated, more payments have been made than contract stated.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Apr 17, 2020

You can sue for breach of contract and return of the money in small claims court up to $6000, or in municipal court up to $15,000. Check the court web site for the form to file and the court process. Or use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney to represent you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Car Accidents, Small Claims, Construction Law and Landlord - Tenant for Ohio on
Q: Is my company liable for damages to my vehicle?

My company has recently leased a new office space in a newly renovated building (including the parking lot). The parking lot has a utility pole with a guy wire that extends into a parking space. The parking spot doesn't have any warnings (e.g. the spacing being striped for no parking).... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 27, 2020

Talk to the local building dept. whether it is a violation. If not, and if landlord or company will not pay for repairs, you could sue in small claims court. The court will determine if they have any liability for failing to post a warning sign. But if the wire was in plain sight, the court... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: When is a fence contrator responsible for underground damages?

Fence contractor dug through my outside sewer line. Contract states they are not liable for unknown obsticles such as sewer lines. My question lies in do they carry any liablity in that they never informed us of the damage and moreover actually placed the fence post and concrete footing into the... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 14, 2020

If their contract says that, and you signed it, then they might not be liable.

But they might not have followed all the consumer protection requirements to give you notice of 3 day right to cancel, etc. If those were required, and they didn't, then that could void their contract, so...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Civil Litigation, Collections and Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: We built a home almost 3 yrs ago and the leach field failed within months. It took the builder 2 1/2 yrs to fix can I ??

They still haven't taken care of warranty work they promised to do as recent as 2 months ago up till this last conversation and now that I said we were done with the games he now has sent me a bill for money that was owed at one time but he waived as good will gesture because of how long it... Read more »

Bruce Martin Broyles
Bruce Martin Broyles answered on Dec 16, 2019

Cannot imagine that the work taking 2 1/2 years did not breach at least a portion of the contract. Was it properly permitted and installed by a licensed installer? The emails may establish a waiver. Have you been able to stay in the house? I would imagine that an occupancy permit was not issued.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: I am a contractor and was doing a job. The homeowner decided he wasn’t going to pay me.

Money that is owed to me after completing over half the job

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Sep 30, 2019

You could file a mechanic's lien for payment. But if you did not follow all the required consumer protection rules and notices, then the homeowner could have the contract cancelled, and you could be forced to return what he has paid. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local construction... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Environmental and Land Use & Zoning for Ohio on
Q: Is a rusted barbed wire fence surrounding a private golf course built prior to this ordinance remain legal?

The Ohio club has failed to maintain the barbed wire and it is now falling off the fences and is completely rusted. Our housing complex, which abuts the course, has repeatedly asked for its removal. We are obviously concerned about the danger to children and pets from both the barbs and rust.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Sep 23, 2019

Talk to the club, the local building department, or use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney to review the facts and advise of your options.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: What are my options if a new home builder is refusing to fix issue in a manner consistent with the blueprints,

We recently built a new home and took possession in Dec 2018. The blueprints for this home show a well basement exit with stairs "exiting to grade". The new home builder made a mistake when pouring the concrete steps and they now exit about 20 inches above the grade. The builder is unable... Read more »

Bruce Martin Broyles
Bruce Martin Broyles answered on Jul 16, 2019

I believe that you have a breach of contract. However, your damages maybe severely limited by the diminution of fair market value. The damages would be the cost to correct or cure, but those damages are limited by the amount that the fair market value of your home is diminished by the failure to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: Can a home builder be sued for breech of contract if they don’t follow plans, or finish per contract time frame?

All elements of house build were signed by all parties (builder/homeowner). There was a specific electrical plan for entire house that was signed off. We identified they were not following signed electrical plan. When confronted why they weren’t following they stated “we don’t follow those... Read more »

Bruce Martin Broyles
Bruce Martin Broyles answered on May 23, 2019

Yes. Unless the deviation from the signed electrical plan is relatively minor or the result of an extreme increase in the cost. You should be able to require the contractor to follow the signed electrical plan. Regarding the 2 1/2 month delay, you may be able to sue for breach of contract... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: Can a builder lock me out of my 100% custom home which I own the land and hold the insurance policy?
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on May 22, 2019

It depends on what your construction contract says about possession of the home. An owner of the real estate would normally be permitted to enter the home. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney to review your contract and all the facts, and help you work out this dispute with the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: Can I be sued and held responsible for a stopped pour when by law LED lights do not need grounded by pool, reason stop

They want me to pay them 22k for the stopped pour, and work I’ve done that they claim no body can come in a continue with because it’s too custom and will have to tear up...

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Apr 29, 2019

Anyone can sue anybody for anything by paying a court filing fee. Whether they win the lawsuit depends on all the evidence and testimony submitted to the court. If you receive a summons of a lawsuit, use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney who does construction litigation cases to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: How long does a contractor have to wait before they file a lien on a c o d payment job?

State of Ohio. Contract was signed by home owner, terms are C O D. Customer is satisfied with job. Needs a couple of weeks to collect money

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Feb 22, 2019

Contractor does not have to wait. But contractor must file a mechanic's lien within 60 days after the date of last work on a residential project. Lien rights are lost after 60 days.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Contracts and Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Q: Is there a "lemon law" per say on houses? We just found a serious issue after buying in December 2016 that was "covered"

The basement had been freshly painted prior to showing with a very thick paint so of course we did not notice ANY cracks in the basement walls (we looked at this property three times)! Just yesterday we noticed a very weird, very straight line of dirt 2 feet from the top of the basement walls. My... Read more »

Bruce Martin Broyles
Bruce Martin Broyles answered on Jun 1, 2018

In Ohio, the seller of a home can be held liable for actively concealing defects in the property. The active concealment would constitute fraud and your statute of limitations does not begin to run until the fraud is discovered. Your claim is very dependent upon facts and what evidence you will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: How long do I have to file a breach of contract claim in a Cleveland-based construction law dispute?
Bruce Martin Broyles
Bruce Martin Broyles answered on May 11, 2018

The statute of limitations for a breach of oral contract claim is six years. R.C. 2305.07. "The cause of action arises when the plaintiff discovers the omission to perform as agreed in the oral contract." Aluminum Line Prods. Co. v. Brad Smith Roofing Co., 109 Ohio App.3d 246, 258, 671... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Consumer Law, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Q: The city I live in replaced all the main sewer lines this past summer about 8 months ago. Since then, three houses in a

The city I live in replaced all the main sewer lines this past summer about 8 months ago. Since then, three houses in a row, including mine, have experienced ruptured pipes on our properties. Other homeowners on the street and other streets have experienced the same thing.

Two homeowners... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Apr 3, 2018

The neighbors should band together and hire an engineer to inspect and determine a cause for the problem, then the neighbors can retain an attorney to review the situation, talk with the city, and try to find a resolution.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Construction Law and Land Use & Zoning for Ohio on
Q: Can I get my house free or a lower price on the land contract due to repairs and problems the owner neglected to fix

Replaced water pump six to seven months after signing contract two of the wall heaters have caught on fire not to mention several other problems no insulation in crawl space, cracking foundation, and attached garage separating just to name a few the previous owner has signed all his properties over... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Mar 14, 2018

Buyer and seller must follow the written terms of the land contract they signed for purchase and sale, including the purchase price. A buyer can notify the seller of problems and try to renegotiate, but the seller is under no obligation to agree to any changes. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain... Read more »

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