District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia Contractor Litigation Lawyers
Each year, thousands of home improvement construction projects end up in litigation. Legal disputes between the contractor and homeowner can be frustrating, lengthy, and expensive. But how can a homeowner deal with a construction project gone horribly wrong?
It’s not just the breach of contract that creates an issue. Dealing with an incomplete project or poor workmanship can violate the sanctity and peace of your home, disrupting and inconveniencing the family, creating frustration and stress for everyone involved.
Fortunately, there is a DC based law firm dedicated to providing homeowners throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) with the expertise to handle even the most challenging construction and contractor issues. Whether it’s unforeseen damages, contractor bankruptcies, cost overruns, or shoddy workmanship, Gowen Silva & Winograd, PLLC, has a track record of helping homeowners beat shady contractors to get their construction projects back on track.
Construction Disputes and Residential Contractor Litigation
Allegations of poor construction and remodeling in the Washington DC area frequently make the news. While thousands of successful remodeling and building projects are completed each year for DC, MD and VA homeowners, dozens do not go as planned and end up in litigation.
We help clients deal with red-flag residential contractors that:
- Use lower-grade materials to cut costs.
- Fail to obtain the proper work permits then leave homeowners with an illegal construction project that must be explained to the authorities.
- Abandon the project due to bankruptcy.
- Threaten to quit if the homeowner doesn’t provide additional compensation to finish the work.
- Use unlicensed or undocumented workers to complete projects.
- Fail to provide and renew adequate insurance coverage for their business.
Residential construction firms can end up in serious legal trouble involving defects in workmanship or contract disputes. Homeowners have a right to receive a quality product with no defects, built to their specifications on time and within budget.
But residential construction comes with unforeseen variances that can throw projects off track. Heated disputes can flare-up between residential contractors and homeowners around project delays, loss of productivity, or variances between the project deliverables and what was promised.
Gowen Silva & Winograd PLLC offers consumers a way to recoup losses incurred when contractors default or complete sub-par work.
Ways to Protect Yourself from Sub Par Contractors
The best way for homeowners to mitigate their risk when considering their next remodel or new build is to conduct due diligence on the contractor. This should include:
- Obtaining a copy of the contractor’s license. Confirm the validity of the contract by calling the licensing department of the state or county where you reside.
- Asking for and then contacting references from the contractor. If possible, visit the locations where the contract did work
- Contacting the Better Business Bureau to research any complaints against the contractor
- Using online consumer review sites to determine the experiences of other homeowners
- Requiring a written contract with significant details, including approximate start and completion dates
- Seeking two or three bids and compare prices
- Avoiding payment for the project upfront, but instead in increments with the final payment upon completion
- Agreeing in writing that any changes to the project, either by the contractor or the homeowner, will necessitate a written change order with a cost estimate that you agree to in writing
In Washington DC and Maryland, contracts do not have to be written to be binding. It is much harder to enforce verbal over written contracts.
It is for this reason that we highly recommend specific and detailed written construction contracts, including schematics, blueprints, materials lists, and other essential details.
While there are many reasons why a homeowner might litigate against a construction contractor, following these suggestions may help you avoid the unpleasantness and risk associated with pursuing a legal case.
Even the best residential contracting companies in the DMV can make mistakes; Gowen Silva & Winograd, PLLC, are here to defend homeowners when the unthinkable happens.
When Do You Need a Residential Construction Lawyer?
The need for a construction lawyer on your residential project can be far too obvious when the contractor is a no-show, or the workmanship is poor. But homeowners can choose litigation or arbitration if there is an on-the-job injury experienced by either a worker or even the homeowner or a family member. Construction projects can be messy and dangerous. When your home is turned into a construction zone, accidents can happen. Personal injuries can occur or workers compensation claims may arise, and an attorney can help homeowners navigate these tricky areas.
Another common issue is when a homeowner’s frustration grows so acute that they terminate the contract or fire them. Terminating a construction contract is tricky, and we recommend consulting with a lawyer before taking steps to default on any existing contract.
But by far, the biggest complaint we hear during residential construction projects is around defective construction. A residential construction lawyer can decipher regulatory rules and laws that protect the homeowner from faulty construction in these situations.
Finding the Right DC Construction Lawyer
Gowen Silva & Winograd PLLC has a proven track record of protecting residential property owners from construction projects that have gone awry. Our goal is to gather the facts, resolve the issue through negotiation, if possible, or litigate the matter whenever necessary.
Our litigation and legal consultative services include:
- Contract negotiation, interpretation, or breach of contract
- Analysis and mitigation of defective specifications or design
- Remedy for construction defects and failures
- Negotiation of payment disputes and recovery of fees
- Bid, payment, performance, and other surety bond claims
- Claims for project delay, disruption, inefficiency or other issues
- Project defaults and contractor terminations
- OSHA and Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance
- Mediation and arbitration of warranty disputes
Construction projects come with high risk. Homeowners can suffer extensive losses and damages, and the fallout can be devastating.
Contractors understand that having the right tools can make the job easier.
From contract disputes, payment, and financial obligation breach, to poor workmanship, Gowen Silva & Winograd, PLLC, focus on leveraging every legal tool available to help you resolve problems with your residential construction project.
If a Washington DC area residential construction contractor fails to do the job properly, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today at (202) 408-5400 or through our online contact form for a free evaluation of your case.