Suing a Construction Contractor in California
A construction contractor dispute has the potential to cause developers double the headache - a complicated legal action and delaying construction - both problems that can cost you hundred of thousands of dollars. What can you do to prevent them, and what to do when facing them?
Always have a strong contractMake sure your construction contracts are favorable and detail the work performed, with benchmarks for performance. A good contract that you draft is the best way to protect you from non-performing contractors and subs.
Don't work with unlicensed contractorsMake sure that every one of your subs have a valid contractor license. This is essential not just for the completion of your project (most cities require the work to be performed by licensed professionals only), but to protect your interest as well. Every licensed contractor in California has a performance bond that can be used to pay for damages and breach of contract by the contractor. It is much easier to collect from a surety bond than an individual - so don't shoot yourself in the foot - hiring unlicensed contractors is a bad idea that will cost you in the long term.
Document everythingWritten evidence is the strongest support for your case when litigation arises. Make sure to save and document every communication with the subs, and provide receipts for money paid. These documents will come in handy if a dispute arises.
Hire an attorney to file a claim against a contractorThe best way to win every contractor dispute is to hire a professional attorney to represent you against the contractor. Construction subs have a very strong statutory protections in the form of a mechanic's lien to protect them. If you have a pending dispute with a contractor that refuses to complete the work after you paid him - you have to act fast. Hiring a professional and experienced attorney is the best way to make sure you are successful in recovering damages and avoiding liens against the property.