Contractor obligations

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  • #3569


    We were required to elevate our home after the August flooding and hired a licensed foundation company to do that. The contractor gave me a quote for 41,225.00. I signed the contract at the end of October and they started work right after Thanksgiving. During the contracting stage, I sent the contractor the structural engineer report that I had done after my insurance adjuster recommended I do so.

    My home was moved to my property in the 70’s and apparently had significant signs of age (rotten joists, seals, etc.) We bought the home in 2009 and did not have a home inspection (stupid us) and had never really gotten under the home to “Inspect” the foundation. After the flood waters pulled all of the insulation under the home down, we had to get under there and pick it up and it was then that we realized just how bad it was.

    With all that being said, I had a verbal agreement with the foundation contractor that he would tell me how many of each (joists, seals, etc.) that he would need to fix the foundation rot or he would buy materials and send me invoice to reimburse him for that.

    Well he replaced most of the rot but the subcontractor he hired did not install theses beams, joists correctly. The structural engineer came back out after I called him because I was concerned about the way some of the work looked. He did a second report. His second report was almost as bad as the first one. Apparently the way they fixed the foundation was in no way shape or form the proper way to do it.

    My question is…. I did not have a contract stating that my contractor was responsible for fixing the existing foundation problems. Only a contract stating he would elevate my home. (which in the end did not get elevated to the requested level)

    Is he liable for the workmanship and errors of the subcontractor and crew if the contract did not specifically state he was going to do the work?

  • #3571


    To many variables here. In these cases I usually tell people to picture a week-long trial complete with evidence and witnesses to enable a even an experienced judge to be able to arrive at a conclusion.

    In very general terms, a contractor is responsible for the work done by people that he hires as sub-contractors. When a written contract is supplemented by verbal agreements, however, it boils down to testimony and how good a witness is on the stand.

    I’m sure you are not anxious to get to point of filing suit, but again, there are too many variable to be able to state a conclusion of law.

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