Unfortunately, not every contractor will be able to live up to their promises. While many will work with you to fix any mistakes or problems, there will be some who simply do not. Construction projects are not cheap and you do not want to find yourself spending hard earned cash reserves on projects that are not up to your standards. In our latest post, we will provide some tips on how to handle bad contractors in Pittsburgh, Pa and Allegheny County.
What if you hired a local construction company to do some work on your new home, only to find they do a bad job? Do you know how to handle bad contractors?
Prepare Ahead Of Time
With any contractor you hire in the Pittsburgh area, there is some planning to do ahead of time. Make sure the contract is detailed including all the “what-ifs” that may arise during the project. For example, how will change orders be handled? What if the project runs long or goes over budget? What will the pay schedule look like? You will want to know other things too, like what their work schedule will be like, do they carry the proper insurance, and will they be pulling all the permits for the job? Do your homework to make sure the contractors are properly licensed for the project you are hiring them to complete. Doing your research beforehand will help you to avoid a bad experience with a contractor after you have already decided to hire them and put down funds to begin work.
Attempt To Settle The Matter Fairly
Before calling your lawyer, do your best to resolve the situation yourself. Contractors are not going to want to receive bad reviews or have word get around that they are unethical or performed in a sub par manner. In many cases, simply letting your frustrations be known to the contractor will allow you to resolve the problem quickly without it escalating to the next level. If they are not able to resolve the problem themselves, try to work out a partial refund, so you can hire someone else to fix their error. When speaking to the contractor about the problem, always speak calmly and professionally. Remember, mistakes can happen and being abrasive or rude will not get the problem resolved to your liking. You attract more bees with honey as they say.
State Licensing Board
File a complaint with the state licensing board. Your complaint will be reviewed, likely with an investigation into the business. No contractor wants a blemish on their business or the risk of losing their license to work. If the contractor is in the wrong, they will likely bite the bullet to avoid any further damage. If they do not believe they are at fault, you can expect the fight to go a bit further.
BBB – The Better Business Bureau
File a complaint with the BBB. Many businesses do not t realize the impact of a low BBB score. The effects of complaints and bad reviews can be extremely detrimental to a business and the ability for that business to operate profitably. When researching a company online, their BBB page will likely be one of the first pages that pop up in the search results. If the business has a low BBB score, people will be wary of hiring them. The BBB makes a record or your complaint as well as what action the company takes to resolve the issue you have voiced. Complaints can be resolved, and having it all out in the open might motivate the contractor to work more quickly to fix your dispute or problem.
Always be honest and diplomatic with your reviews. If you sound overly angry or even petty, people might brush your review off as someone having a bad day. Instead, summarize the situation and include information about your attempts to resolve the issue. Other people will want to know how the company truly does business before hiring them. You can use sites such as Google, Facebook, Angie’s List, and Home Advisor to share your experience with other individuals who are looking for construction services in the Pittsburgh area.
If the contractor is in the wrong and refusing to work with you to resolve the situation, the next step would be contacting a local attorney who specializes in these sorts of cases. This will help you get a clear understanding of the law and what your rights are. They can draft letter to the contractor in question, letting them know your settlement terms and what the next step will be should they not comply. Getting the law involved will make most businesses want to resolve the issue as opposed to battling further, risking damage to their reputation and paying costly legal fees.
Depending on the cost of the damages, your next step will likely be taking the business to court. Your attorney should be able to advise if you have a case or not, saving you from wasting time and money by pursuing the issue further. When going to court, make sure you are fully prepared with contracts, documentation of all contact, costs of damages, and legal fees to date. These are things you can request be reimbursed should you win the case.