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George William Wolff

George Wolff’s Answers

380 total

  • How many trades can I do the work for as a general contractor?

    I did the framing, finish carpentry, paint and tile. I hold a General B and C-5 framing classification on my licence.

    George’s Answer

    Your work must include at least two trades, other than framing or carpentry.

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  • About the liability of work without permit by a licensed contractor

    I am thinking of hire out a lisenced contractor to do the garage repair in one of my property in Salinas (basically reinforce the structure and replace the siding), he claim that the project does not need to acquire a permit for the work. The prop...

    George’s Answer

    This sounds like an incredibly BAD idea!

    While you might save a few dollars upfront, he will be uninsured and will likely be unable to pay any damages caused to the property or to anyone injured by his work.

    You do not have any guarantee that he is even minimally competent or financially responsible.

    If you are having structural work done, you want someone competent.

    And if he is injured you will be considered his employer, and assume liability for that as well.

    Also you will at least need to file IRS form 1099s for him, or maybe W-2 forms and pay your and his share of withholdings on his earnings., etc

    Yes, he can be fined and go to jail, but you can be fined for work done without a permit.

    If someone is injured by some dangerous condition of the property, you are also potentially liable as well.

    Work over a few hundred dollars requires a building permit.

    There are legal articles on our website that discuss problems in hiring unlicensed contractors

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  • Do I need a LLC or is there any other way

    I am have a Client who wants to build a product, I am basically going to get the check and sub contract it. Do I need an LLC to collect the check or can I use an administrative office (a company which is basically taking the check and paying me di...

    George’s Answer

    you need a contractor's license to do this if you are doing construction work or subcontracting out construction work to be done on someone else's property!

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  • What organization oversee complaints against American Arbitration Association if foul play was conducted during arbitration.

    American Arbitration Association and its arbitrator were not neutral as required under the law during my proceeding . My rights were not protected and the process was prolonged to increase the cost to arbitrator and AAA.

    George’s Answer

    If you can establish that the arbitrator had an undisclosed bias or conflict of interest, it may be possible to have the award corrected or overturned in Court.

    However the time to seek this relief after entry of the award is VERY VERY short.

    You should consult with an experienced arbitration lawyer NOW!!!

    What kind of dispute was this?

    When was the award entered?

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  • Can we cancel a contractor that was arranged one day prior to the job?

    We hired a painter, and we arranged for him to paint a room one day before the job. He arrived late, and my wife decided to cancel the job, and they had an argument that I did not witness, but I no longer believe it's a good idea for to work with...

    George’s Answer

    Did you receive and sign a written contract?

    Was this work for your home?

    Where was the agreement signed or entered into?

    If this was for work on your home and you entered into the agreement someplace other than the contractor's offices, then you have a right to cancel whether or not you received notice of your right to cancel, as required by law.

    See Legal Article on our website re this topic.

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  • Breach of contract with general contractor. I was approved for progress payment of $17,500 and was never paid.

    He had to secure a payment & performance bond for the project, since I was never paid I should go after bond company once notice of completion is filed with the city of S.F.

    George’s Answer

    If you timely served a valid preliminary notice, you can and should file a Stop Notice with the City NOW.

    If you did not serve a preliminary notice in time you should serve notice of your claim on the Bonding Company.

    Both should be served by Certified Mail, return receipt requested.

    The City or its project manager can and must give you the name of the Payment Bond surety.

    There is no reason to wait, as I assume you want to be paid sooner rather than later, and if you wait you could miss the deadline.

    You would also have a breach of contract claim against the contractor, but a Stop Notice or Payment Bond claim is more powerful.

    On both of those you will need to file suit if you are not paid. It is 90 days to file suit on a Stop Notice.

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  • Hi, Is not honoring warranty a breach of contract?

    A contractor replaced our roof and did it wrong, he has to replace the roof a year later. He asked us to sign a POA to start the work. The POA reinstate the warranty for workmanship, however, when we discovered an issue relating to workmanship, ...

    George’s Answer

    What is a "POA"?

    This is not very clear.

    What exactly is your question?

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  • Why is "a view" so expensive yet impossible to protect?

    When I bought my home, the view was a part of its appraised value; now, a developer is building a structure that 1) he won't be inhabiting and 2) will rob me of my view. The developer is both absconding with and then will be reselling my view whic...

    George’s Answer

    If it is not too late you may be able to request the City Planning Commision to exercise discretionary review over your project.

    In some cases compromises or changes can be worked out.

    It can be very helpful to get the support of as many of your neighbors as possible and consult perhaps with an architect and a planning and zoning attorney.

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  • What happens to me if I walk off a job in California as a licensed contractor

    I used my license to help a unlicensed contractor complete a job and he totally meshed the job up and it is going to cost me thousands to fix all the problems

    George’s Answer

    If you aided and abetted an unlicensed contractor and helped him get a job under your license, your license could be subject to discipline, plus you might be sued for fraud, or for breach of contract if your name and license number is on the contract.

    This was a very risky thing for you to do, and you should probably do all you can to fix the problems he caused

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  • Esoteric language. Please help me decode this language

    Every party in contract shall defend, indemnify and hold harmless the other party against any and all losses and damages arising out of any misrepresentation or breach by the other party of any warranty, covenant or promise made or contained in th...

    George’s Answer

    This means if one party to a contract is sued by a third person, the other party to the contract must defend that party in the lawsuit and pay any sums that that person may be held liable for.

    These are common in construction contracts, but usually flow uphill, i.e. from a subcontractor to a contractor or a contractor to the owner.

    And usually it only applies to negligent acts by the indemnitor.

    This one is unusual, and kind non-sensical in that everyone is indemnifying and defending anyone else!

    And here it applies not to negligent acts by one party, but to breaches of contract and misrepresentation by all parties!

    I'm thus kind of confused as to what it means.

    I've never seen one like this, and t does not appear to have been drafted by someone familiar with construction law.

    Maybe there are other unusual things in this contract besides this?

    Is there something unusual about this contact or this project?

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