New Home Construction Dispute: Builder Reneged on Promises

When two parties enter into a contract, it’s binding. If any of the parties involved breach the contract there may be grounds for legal recourse. It’s always best to have an attorney review a contract before it’s signed to ensure your interests and assets are positioned accordingly. Especially with something as big and costly as a new home!

Always be sure the contract is well-written and covers as much detail as possible. Each parties’ responsibilities and expectations should be clearly outlined and it’s imperative to document all financial details with corresponding dates and/or deadlines for completion. Simple things up front generally avoid costly pitfalls in the future.

In this case, a Hull, Massachusetts couple had an agreement to build a new home with a local, reputable builder who came highly recommended.  Unfortunately for them, he did not carry through on what was promised. The estimate and actual proposal differed considerably for the labor costs and the supplies that were ultimately used were completely different than what was chosen. In addition, deadlines for progress and the expected date of completion were not clearly delineated.  The other problem was the contractor was without funds to pay our clients and judgment proof.

In this case, our office set out to make a claim under the contractor’s liability insurance policy.  We met with the various contractors and subcontractors that were involved in the work.  We were able to document the failures of the original contractor who had promised a certain home would be built but had not carried through.  We also had to use our experience and skill to get through the limitations of the contractor’s liability insurance policy which did not provide for coverage for many items of ordinary negligence or contractor error that persons may expect would be covered.  We had to work through the various insurance policy terms to make a clear claim of why the contractor’s mistakes in this case resulted in damage that the clients would be able to obtain proper compensation under the liability insurance policy of the contractor.  After presenting a strong legal argument supported by affidavits and statements of various contractors documenting the damages and mistakes that the original contractor had made, we were able to get the clients a substantial recovery under the contractor’s liability insurance policy.

What The Client Had To Say

“My husband and I retained Attorney Bill Kennedy and his office to deal with a difficult claim with a builder we had to build our home. The builder did not do what he promised. We were told we had no claim against any insurance company. We thought we were lost. We went to several sources to get help without success. Then we met Bill. My husband and I are certainly glad we did. Bill met with me several times and went over all our paperwork. He carefully listened to all we had to say. Bill agreed to work on a contingency where we did not have to pay for his time and he only got paid with a positive recovery for us. He came out on a weekend and met my husband and I at our house and reviewed the home that was under construction. Bill put a claim together and fought the insurance company for us. He talked with our contractors to put together a successful claim. Eventually Bill was able to get a settlement for us for the insurance company to get us additional money to complete our home. We are grateful for the help Attorney Bill Kennedy and his Office provided and would recommend him highly.”

Legal Words of Wisdom:  Probably the best advice is to be sure you know who you are doing business with when having a new home constructed.  However, it is always important to have any home construction contract reviewed by an attorney.

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