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Ohio Construction Law Questions & Answers

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 N.E.2d 1343... 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 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 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Ohio on

Q: Is it legal for a general contractor to backcharge for "quality issues" that were not previously addressed?

We were back charged 1179 out of 1770 worth of invoices for quality issues that were never raised with us. He also changed the agreed upon quoted price of 580 per unit to 400 on the final bill. So his final bill disregarded our agreed upon prices (which he has already paid in Dec) and changed 1770... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Feb 12, 2018

Check your contract for any dispute resolution procedures. If there are none, then your choices are work out a settlement, mediation, arbitration, or litigation. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a local construction litigation attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Ohio on

Q: My contractor lied and I just found out he is not actually licensed. Can I fire him before the work is finished?

The work he HAS done has been shoddy. He assured us he was licensed and bonded but, regrettably, we didn't ask for proof. Now that he's 75% done, and we've paid 70% of the total, we looked into it and realized he's not licensed. What can we do? I certainly don't want him on my property without a... Read more »

Bruce Martin Broyles answered on Feb 2, 2018

I would have the work inspected and make certain that all proper building permits have been pulled.

In Ohio you have to have a license to perform the following types of construction work:

Electrical, HVAC, Refrigeration, Plumbing, or Hydronics

If your project did not...
Read more »

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

Q: I signed a contract for basement finishing. Can I fire the contractor and get money back even though some work is done?

I signed a contract with local basement finishing company back in June of 2016. Per contract, work was to begin in 4 weeks and finish in 4-6 weeks after it starts. After several follow ups, work started in Oct. Since then until today (in almost 4 months) only about 30% work has been completed. The... Read more »

Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 22, 2018

You can send the contractor a notice of termination and demand return of the remainder of excess funds already paid. If contractor will not return them, then you can sue in small claims court up to $6000, or in municipal court up to $15,000. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a local... Read more »

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

Q: Is it legal in the state of Ohio for a public construction project to block off and deny entrance to a private driveway

The driveway is to my house, there is construction outside and today they have put a gate up in front of the entrance of my house, blocking all access to my private driveway. The construction project is a public project doing utilities.

Joseph Jaap answered on Oct 3, 2017

They are allowed to do what is reasonable and necessary for the work they are doing within their public utility easement. If you talk to them, they will probably do their best to accommodate you. If you want to take legal action, then use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a local real estate... Read more »

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

Q: If a project loan expires due to the contractor taking too long to finish the job is the contract voided

We signed a contract for a wet area remodel. That was only support to take 2 days, but ended up taking 2 months because it kept failing plumbing codes

Joseph Jaap answered on Jun 5, 2017

If the contractor did not complete the job in the time as specified in the contract, then the contractor has breached the contract. That gives you grounds to notify him that the contract is terminated. You are obligated to pay him what he is owed, minus any extra amounts you incur to finish the... Read more »

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

Q: I purchased a shower surround wall and base from a local Lowes store in 2015. It is leaking in two cracked places.

The removal estimate and install of new, is $6800.00. Lowes will provide a new shower surround wall and base but will not pay for the removal or installation of the new. What is my recourse?

Mark Martin Turner answered on May 24, 2017

Your recourse depends on a few different issues. First, when it was installed, did the installer provide you a warranty? 2nd, what is the reason it is cracked and leaking? 3rd, does the product itself about warranty?

If the cracks or because of misuse by the consumer, you may not have any...
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1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law, Real Estate Law and Contracts for Ohio on

Q: can the contractor put lien on your house if they were not able to finish their work they promised

Joseph Jaap answered on Mar 29, 2017

Yes, a contractor can place a lien on your house, and they can foreclose on that lien. If you dispute their lien claim, you can send them a notice to commence suit on their lien, and if they don't, then the lien will become void. If they do commence suit, then you can provide evidence of their... Read more »

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

Q: How long do I have to file a mechanic's lien after the work has been done in Ohio?

Joseph Jaap answered on Mar 6, 2017

It depends on if the work was done on residential premises for the owner of the premises where the owner uses it as a principal residence. If so, then you could have as little as zero days up to 60 days. You must file a mechanic's lien affidavit before the owner pays the general contractor in... Read more »

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

Q: We have begun the process to build and using a realtor who happens to also be a representative for the builder?

Should we get a different realtor not partial to builder? We have started to feel like she isn't getting us the best deals. Do builders usually come down off prices or offer incentives? She has told us that they will do neither and seems like she won't even ask. Very frustrating.

Joseph Jaap answered on Jan 17, 2017

Is she acting as a dual agent, representing both you and the builder? She would have had you sign a Dual Agency Disclosure to do that. If not, then she is acting as builder's listing agent. An agent who is representing the builder is not representing you at all. If she is the builder's listing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for Ohio on

Q: Hired a general contractor and after the second draw we stoped hearing from him, is it worth suing?

Our bank told us he needed to be licensed and bonded, when we asked for that info from the bank we were told they didn't have it. The contractor was given two draws from our escrow account totaling $26,000. The last draw was fro $15,000 and he said that our kitchen was ordered with that. Two days... Read more »

Matthew Williams answered on Jan 13, 2016

Yes its worth suing him. It sounds like he stole $26,000 from you. You shouldn't just keep his tools though. That's risky. The proper remedy here is to file a lawsuit, not take matters into your own hands.

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