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San Diego Construction Law Blog

Don't get overpowered by a pushy contractor

Construction projects are bound to have some hiccups as they proceed. When anything amiss happens, your contractor should alert you to the issue and find ways to overcome the problems. The real issue comes in when they aren't willing to do this. In these cases, you might have to turn to legal remedies to rectify the situation.

You might feel as though you aren't being heard when you speak to the contractor. Sometimes, they will try to overpower the client by reinforcing what they think about the issues. When this happens, it might be best to take a step back and review what is going on. If you think that you can get the contractor to see your side of the issue, you might try to approach it again. If you don't think it will work, it might be time to call in reinforcements.

Seek legal remedy for foundation problems in your new home

You finally bought that house you've been dreaming of in San Diego. It's the new construction property you wanted with that sliver of a Pacific Ocean view. It's perfect.

After a few years of living there, however, you begin to notice some strange things. You could be looking at foundation problems, and knowing the early signs of them could help you make fixes before problems spiral out of control. These are the four simple indoor signs of potential foundation problems.

  1. Cracks show up in walls. They are most likely to be seen over windows or doorways, or where the walls and ceilings meet.
  2. A door jams or won't latch when you try to close it.
  3. The vinyl or ceramic tile over the concrete floor shows cracks.
  4. Windows that once were easy to open and close get stuck or no longer can close.

Construction defect? Know the options and possible outcomes

Construction defects of all sorts must be treated seriously. These are matters that can lead to you not being able to use the building without running the risk of someone being injured or harmed in some way. The fact of the matter here is that you didn't pay for something with defects. You paid for quality workmanship using appropriate materials.

There are a couple of ways that construction defects might be resolved. The easiest occurs when you point out the issue to the contractor, and they correct it without delay. This happens when the company or individual you used is reputable and wants to keep that reputation. We know many people who have issues with a construction project hope this will be the outcome of the matter.

Attempts to prevent landslides must be vetted carefully

Landslides are a risk for many homes in California, but most people aren't going to avoid homes where this is possible. There are some ways that you can protect your home, so speak to a professional about what options are present for your home. They should be able to give you an idea of how effective certain things that will be.

Sometimes, the answer to stopping landslides is building retaining walls. This isn't going to prevent larger landslides from occurring, but it might help keep the ground stable to help keep shifts from causing serious problems. These retaining walls must be shored up properly in order to be as effective as possible.

Water in the basement is a sign of a serious issue

Homes built with basements have some risks that other types of homes don't have. One of these is water leaks. These are problematic because they can signal very serious problems. In some cases, you won't know that there are any issues until you start to see puddles on the floor. If the basement is finished, this can cause damage.

Sometimes, basement leaks are due to normal wear and tear on the home. In other cases, defects in the construction or materials are what causes the problem. Because there are so many possibilities, it can sometimes be an intensive search to find out the root cause of the problem.

Construction lawsuits can sometimes resolve problems

Construction problems are to be expected in many cases. Reputable and experienced contractors will plan for these issues. It is imperative that anyone who is going to have a project done finds out what kinds of delays, if any, the contractor has planned for. Even if this isn't discussed in the contract, you can ask about it when you are discussing the project's specifications and terms.

When there is an unexpected delay that occurs, you have to think about the reason for it. Was it something the contractor could have prevented or planned for? If the answer is "yes," than you might need to read your contract to determine what recourse you have. As we recently discussed, this might be going through arbitration, but it might also entail filing a lawsuit in court.

Mandatory binding arbitration clauses are sometimes hidden

Some construction contracts have clauses that limit how you can try to get compensation if something goes awry with the project. One of these is that you might have agreed to go through arbitration to address any issues.

Arbitration is a process in which you present your case to a third-party arbitrator. That person is impartial and has to make decisions based on what is presented. The process is similar to a court hearing, but it is less formal. There isn't a jury; however, you might be presenting your case to a panel that acts as an arbitrator.

You deserve to have your structure finished on time

We recently discussed construction delays and how they impact your project end date. The issue that often comes up in these cases is that you will have to scramble to adjust the move-in plans that you had. This can put you in a difficult spot, whether you are having a home or a business built, there might be other factors that you can't adjust easily.

If you are currently living in a home that you placed up for sale, you might not be able to push back your move-out date if the house is already sold. A delay in your new construction would mean that you have to figure out where you and your family members can live between your move-out date and the new completion date.

Common construction delays contractors must plan for

When a contractor puts a bid on a project, there is usually a time frame included for completing it. The person who hires the contractor is counting on the project to be done on time. Whether the structure is for your personal use or your business, there isn't any reason why you should have to wait to be able to use it. Contractors should plan ahead to include a time cushion just in case something happens that delays the project a bit. Trying to wait until the deadline to get things done is flirting with disaster.

There are several things that might lead to a construction project being delayed. While some aren't in the contractor's control, there are many that are. Still, proper planning might prevent a person from having to wait past the final completion deadline.

Roofing defects must be addressed immediately

You count on your home's roof to keep the contents dry when it rains. When this doesn't happen, either the roof is old and needs to be replaced or there are defects in it. If the roof was recently put on and it is leaking, it is time to find out why. Ideally, you will be able to get this done before the rains begin again because there is a lot of damage that can be done to the structure, as well as the things in the home or office.

Many roofing defects are possible, so the contractor you hire must be sure that they are doing the job properly. Any errors during the installation can allow rain to enter the home. Some of the issues that can cause this problem include a failure to install underlayment properly, not putting the flashing up appropriately and not overlapping the shingles as required.

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