Have you ever wanted to have some work done on your home and had numerous contractors come out to give you a quote?
Most likely, you answered yes to this question, because every homeowner needs something completed on their home at least once in their lifetime.
While some work on homes is self-explanatory, like a new furnace or hot water heater, other work requires more information. For example, if you are having a new roof installed, you will want to know whether the roofer will be replacing plywood and if so, how much. You will also want in writing what type of shingles are being used and what is included in the price.
It is always best to get everything in writing before you sign the contract, so there is no “he said, she said” when the work is deemed complete by the contractor.
There was a case that went to court about a couple who had a rent-to-own agreement with a third party for a specific house. They had already accumulated some equity in this home when they were approached by a realtor named Michael Fowler. The realtor managed to persuade the couple to forgo their equity on the home and relinquish their current agreement. All they needed to do was let him purchase their home and he would build them another home on that same property.
A purchase and sale agreement was drafted by Mr. Fowler, which the couple signed. However, there were no plans or specs attached to the agreement. The missing specs and plans ended up being a major issue for the couple because Mr. Fowler constructed what is called a white elephant of a house.
There was no entrance on the ground floor. The only way you could access the first floor of this house was by climbing up thirteen steps to the door. Then once the couple was inside, they needed to climb down thirteen steps to reach the ground floor of their home. There were many other unique features in this home and a few of them violated local building codes.
An expert appraiser testified and stated that he had never seen any house like this one and he had seen thousands upon thousands of homes during his career.
To make matters worse, Mr. Fowler never provided documents to the couples’ lender. Therefore, the couple was unable to obtain the loan they needed.
When this case went to court, it was deemed that the plaintiff’s actions were not within the requirements of the New Hampshire Consumer Protection Act. Since he was a willing party and knew what he was doing, Mr. Fowler was held accountable for the damages and was also required to pay the attorney fees for the couple.
I understand this was a long story, but the important part is that you must always have plans and specs attached to any construction agreement or contract you sign. Not having those items can open up a nightmare that can take years to get out of.
Are you considering signing a construction contract? If you are unsure whether you have all of the information you need, please contact me today. I will make sure there are no loopholes, so you get exactly what you want from the transaction.