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What is the process to get our money back & report "bad" licensed contractors?

Philadelphia, PA |

We contracted for a home project with a highly recommended contractor with good references. As they worked, it seemed they disregarded the plans, cut back using cheaper products, left necessary roof supports out, ignored inspection/building codes, did not communicate with each other & were careless. They ignored the Township Inspections, so I called. The next week, they walked off the job 2/3 done refusing to fix their mistakes or finish, so we had to get other bids. 4 contractors refused to quote. That is when we found out about the other "bad" work done that was done. To finish their work was $16,350. To fix the "bad" work was $2800. We are both have mobility problems. Where do we go from here to recoup our money & report them? Regards,

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Attorney answers 3


Unfortunately, it is much more difficult in recent years to recover damages from contractors. The law in Pennsylvania states that damages related to bad workmanship are not covered by general contractor insurance policies, and thus you have to recover directly from the contractors themselves. If the contractor has assets, such as vehicles and equipment that are owned by the contractor and not jointly with a non-liable entity then those assets could be taken in the event of a successful lawsuit. This kind of litigation can be expensive however, and experts almost always have to be hired for trial. Since your cost to "fix" the work is less than $3000.00, hiring an attorney may not be financially practical for you. You can always take them to small claims court on your own - you do not need a lawyer to do that. Although any resulting judgement would be difficult to collect on, the contractor may be motivated to ameliorate your damages in order to avoid further action. You should also know that in the last few years a number of criminal statutes dealing with contractor fraud have been adopted in Pennsylvania, so if you think your contractor has truly cheated you you can contact the District Attorney's office in your county and report the conduct.


I would contact the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General-Consumer Protection. Contractors now have to be registered with the Office of Attorney General. I would contact them and seek their assistance.


PA has a special consumer protection statute that covers home improvement contracts and contractors. A contractor may be made to pay up to 3X the actual damages and your attorney fees. See:

You should contact a local consumer protection attorney to review your situation to see if you have a cause of action against the contractor.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.

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