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Poor contractor? You can fight back to prevent greater losses

When you build a home or building, you want to know that you have one of the best, most cost-effective contractors around. You want to know that you're getting your money's worth and that you're not being taken advantage of.

In reality, there are many "bad" contractors who abuse their positions. They may take their time on projects in a way that "runs the clock," which ends up costing you more money. Others may never complete the project at all, leaving you to foot the bill with another contractor when you have no choice but to complete the work.

Between poor workmanship and unreasonable delays, there are many reasons to be at odds with your contractor. You can fight back, though.

To start with, it's probably time to fire the contractor. Don't waste more of your time or money on someone who isn't doing what you expected. Your contractor might challenge you on getting fired, since it could be a breach of contract.

As long as you can show that he or she broke the contractor agreement, you can take steps to fire him or her. Take note of the things that have been done that you find don't live up to your original contract. Send a return-receipt letter to the contractor itemizing those problems and request that they're resolved within a certain amount of time. If they don't do so, then state that he or she is in breach of contract and that you'll be terminating your original agreement.

You can also go through arbitration, if you don't want to fire your contractor. Arbitration allows you and the contractor to present information and evidence supporting your side of the case. The arbitrator then decides who is in the right or wrong. The Better Business Bureau does arbitrate for a small fee, which can be beneficial. Attorneys can represent you during the hearing as well.

Source: HouseLogic, "How To Fight Back Against a Bad Contractor," accessed Jan. 24, 2018

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