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    How To Handle Conflicts With Your Contractor

    November 15th, 2012

    It is not uncommon for homeowners to have minor disagreements with their contractors when it comes to certain areas in the construction. No matter how much you try to be agreeable, and no matter how well you choose the contractor, there are problems that can arise, and these problems often lead to disagreement. Here are a few ways on how to handle these disagreements smoothly.

    • Set a time and place for discussing the problem. Never get into an intense argument with your contractor on site, right after you discover the problem, especially his people are within seeing and hearing distance. Set a time and place for hashing out the problem, preferably in your office or somewhere quiet where you will not be interrupted.
    • Go over the contract with your contractor. This is important especially for tasks that depend on provisions found in the contract. Having the contractor with you will facilitate a faster resolution of the conflict, especially if the answer is clearly printed in the contract.
    • Agree that each of you will have his time to speak without any interruptions. This prevents intense arguments and shouting matches from arising. It is also important to remember that you should avoid talking to each other disrespectfully if you want to hash the problem out in a civilized way.
    • Seek the opinion of someone you both trust and respect if you cannot resolve the issue yourselves. It could be another contractor, or some other professional. Having a fresh mind with an objective point of view may help generate a solution that is favorable to both.
    • Be decisive. Most contractors depend on you for making the decisions since you own the house. However, your contractor can help you make decisions when it comes to technical aspects of the construction. Keep a mindset of working with your contractor, instead of against him, if you want to get the project done on time.

    Disagreements can be large or small, but there is a right way of dealing with them. If there are problems such as cost, delays or poor workmanship ensure that your contract provides a recission clause which allows you to terminate the project and get a refund. Issues about poor workmanship and refusal to address these issues can be reported to the appropriate state or federal building code and inspection agencies. You can also consult a lawyer to see what measures to take next if you were not able to reach a favorable compromise.

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