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San Diego Construction Law Blog

Know your rights when dealing with building contractors

Hiring a building contractor for a project is a major decision. When you have bids coming in, you need to pay close attention to the terms that are included in the bid. There are sometimes cases in which the least expensive bid isn't going to be the best. The same is true about the highest bid. We know that this is a lot to consider when you just need a structure built.

Throughout the construction project, you should keep an eye on the progress. This gives you a chance to catch problems before they become major. Of course, nobody expects you to be an expert so you might not see everything that is a potential issue. One thing to remember as the project moves forward is that you aren't a burden when you check up on the project.

Signs that a building's foundation is failing

The foundation is what provides a good portion of the stability for a structure. When there are issues with the foundation, the entire structure might be unstable and unusable. This isn't ever something that you want to deal with in a new construction.

It is imperative that anyone who owns a building or has contracted with someone to build a new structure understands some of the common warning signs of a foundation issue. There are a few ways that you can spot an issue in these cases.

Construction defects: Type matters to determine fault

When you hear the term construction defects, you might think only of something being built incorrectly. While it is true that this is one type of defect, there are actually many types of defects that might occur in a building project.

One of the possible defects is present before any work is done at the construction site. This is a defect in the planning of the project. When a building is erected, the contractor follows a set of blueprints. These outline everything that is necessary to know about the building, including all applicable measurements and placements of vital components like load-bearing walls. When anything is wrong with the blueprints, there might be a defect that impacts the structural integrity of the building.

Building owners should expect construction sites to be safe

When you hire a contractor to build a structure, you might not want to hover over the job site. Some people think that constantly checking on the progress might hinder it. The truth here is that you should stop in and check on the progress periodically, preferably unannounced.

There are a few different reasons why you might want to make trips to the site. One of the most obvious is so that you can check on how things are going. You might want to see if everything is coming along how you expected and what is coming up in the next few days. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions if you have any.

How can falling objects be prevented at construction sites?

Workers often have to climb to heights above ground level when they are building structures. When they do this, the tools that they use, as well as themselves, can become hazards to the people who are on the levels below them. There are some very specific ways that construction workers can help prevent these objects from killing or injuring others.

It is up to every construction company to have protocol in place to prevent falling object hazards. All of the workers for that company must comply with those protocol if they are working above ground level.

Construction disputes are complex and time consuming

Construction disputes can be time-consuming endeavors that are filled with legal aspects. We know that you might not have time to deal with these, so we are here to help you work through these matters. We understand these matters and want to help you find a resolution that meets your needs.

One thing that is true for almost every construction dispute is that the fate of the structure is in jeopardy. If the matter is a contract issue during the project, there is a chance that the contractor will stop working on the project. If the matter is a construction defect case, you might lose use of the structure until the issues are corrected.

What is a passive construction defect?

Some construction defects are so serious that they pose a safety risk. If the framing is done incorrectly there could be a risk of a roof collapse, for instance. Poor electrical work that cuts corners could be a fire risk.

These types of defects could lead to injuries or even fatalities. But what about more minor issues?

Keep an eye on the construction project from start to finish

Shady contractors can turn your dream home build into a nightmare. Even people who have done all they can to vet the contractors with whom they are considering hiring, there is a chance that something will go wrong. We understand that you might not have expected any mistakes to occur during the process, so it might come as a shock if it happens.

Sometimes people who hire contractors to build homes feel funny about frequently checking the progress. You shouldn't ever think this way because you have made a big investment and have every right to check on the project. In fact, it is a good idea to visit the site often so that you can make sure things are going as planned.

Avoid falling victim to a shady contractor

Hiring a contractor is taking a chance that someone is going to adhere to the contract you sign and do the job that you are hiring him or her to do. There is a chance that you will end up working with a contractor who isn't doing either of these. If you are in the market for a contractor, you should make sure that you are keeping these warning signs of a shady contractor at the front of your mind.

You should be wary of contractors who go door-to-door to solicit business or who tell you that your job will be used as a demonstration. A contractor only accepting cash payments, offering discounts for referrals or asking for full payment upfront are also signs that something isn't right. You should even be wary of a contractor who offers longer than normal guarantees and those who don't have a phone number listed in a directory.

Tips for choosing a contractor for your building project

Choosing a contractor for your building or improvement project is something that you must take seriously. There are many things that can go wrong in these projects. You need to find a contractor that you trust and who is going to do what he or she was hired to do without trying to get over on you. This is something that can be rather challenging.

One of the most important things that you can do is speak to people who have used the contractor in the past. Ideally, you will find someone who you know and trust to find out about the contractor. If you don't personally know anyone who has worked with the person, you can ask the contractor for references.

Law Office of Bryan R. Snyder, APC
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San Diego, CA 92101

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