I ordered basswood shutter from a sales, paid 50% when signed contract, will pay 50% upon complete of installation. There are some problem happened after shutters were installed, such as incorrect measurement, frame cut , couple shutters were missing. Also shutters bottom rails too wide comparing brochure from wholesale company. Sales offered 10% discount. I disagreed because I just want my shutters to be made correctly. After it, sales person disappeared and did not contact me. Now I received an attorney letter to request me to pay the due. What should I do? Thanks for your help!
You should write the contractor a letter by certified mail to request that the contractor return to correct/complete his work. In that letter, you should advise generally what work needs to be corrected/completed. You should also indicate that if the contractor does not return to correct/complete his work, you will have to retain another contractor, and will hold the first contractor responsible for the costs. Finally, indicate in your letter that if the contractor does not advise that he will return to correct/complete his work within one week, you will presume that he has no intention of doing so, and you will hold him responsible for the costs of correcting/completing his work.
When the contractor does not return, you can retain another contractor to correct/complete the first contractor's work. Make sure that the second contractor itemizes his invoices and lists the costs to correct/complete the first contractor's work. You cannot charge the first contractor with the cost of work that was not within the first contractor's scope of work. For example, if the first contractor was supposed to install carpet, you cannot charge him for the second contractor's installation of ceramic tile.
Once you have tallied the costs associated with correcting/completing the first contractor's work, you can consider suing him to recover those costs. The jurisdictional maximum for small claims court in Texas is $10,000. So, if your claim exceeds that amount, you will have to sue in County or District Court. In small claims court, you can represent yourself. In County or District Court, you will have to retain an attorney. However, under Texas law, you would be entitled to recover attorney's fees if you prevailed.
Make sure that you take a lot of photos of the first contractor's work. Digital photos with the date of the photo imprinted on the photo are best. You should document the condition in which the first contractor left the work and what it took to correct/complete the work.
It depends. Construction-type agreements allow for substantial, and not necessarily perfect, performance. No one on this forum can tell you whether the shutter company has substantially performed without seeing the purchase/installation agreement and (photos, at least, of) the substandard workmanship you have described. If the amount at issue is worth consulting a contract dispute or consumer attorney, I encourage you to do.
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They have to deliver as advertised and promised. It may fall under the Texas Deceptive and Fair Trades Act. I would consult attorneys to see what it will cost to take this case to Court. I do not litigate per se, but I can tell you that the worse case is you have to pay the full price, but they have to make it right. If they fail to make it right, you may be able to get back all your money and send the shutters back to them. Certainly, reach out and contact an attorney near you to discuss further.
My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a licensed attorney in your State should be obtained. Please click "helpful" or "best answer" if my answer added any value or add a "comment" if you have more info for me to help you get a better answer.
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