Homeowner Issues

For most Americans, the single most expensive purchase they make is their home. Whether it is a condo, townhouse, mobile home, manufactured home, or traditional home, repairs and maintenance will be required over the life of the home. Many people do it themselves for smaller, less complicated projects but some projects require expert help and resources.

dream homeThe home construction and repair industry has numerous quality and experienced builders, roofers, plumbers, electricians, remediation specialists (for mold, water damage, smoke, fire, etc.) and related professionals. Unfortunately, there are also some contractors who are less than professional. They provide subpar parts, perform poor work, do not honor their warranties, or otherwise leave the homeowner disappointed.

When buying, building, or having work done to a home, do your homework. Ask your neighbors and friends for referrals to contactors and home repair professionals. Be sure to pay all contractors via check or money order and avoid cash payments. Seek a contract in which you can wait to make full payment after the work has been completed. Before any work begins, get a written agreement that includes the scope of work to be performed, a description of materials to be performed, and the estimated price for the work (materials and labor). This agreement should be signed by the contractor. If there are any substantial changes in the terms of the agreement, get them in writing. Ask as many questions as you feel necessary so that you are comfortable with the contractor and the work to be performed. If you are dealing with an individual or business that claims to be a licensed contractor, verify the current status of their license and otherwise check their information on the website for the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. drill

Special rules apply in the case of manufactured and modular homes in North Carolina . The Manufactured Housing Board handles complaints and other issues related to manufactured and modular homes. For more information on laws relating to manufactured housing, a list of licensed manufactured housing dealers and set-up contractors, and how to file a complaint with the Board visit the public/consumer page.

Here is a sample of the homeowner issue cases Attorney John O'Neal has handled:

  • A husband and wife owned a home and had problems with leaks in the roof including water entering the light fixture in the master bedroom. After a delayed response by the homeowners' association and then piecemeal attempts to fix the roof, the couple hired their own contractor who performed the necessary repairs. The couple hired the O'Neal Law Office to recover reimbursement of the repair costs. Attorney John O'Neal filed suit and represented the couple at trial. The couple won a judgment against the homeowners' association to compensate them for the repair costs.
  • A man hired a local contractor to pour a concrete driveway for his home. In the course of completing the job, the contractor and his crew damaged an underground line that drained water from the home's washing machine. The contractor failed to inform the man of this damage and the man did not discover it until his wife was washing clothes and water began percolating through several of the seams in the driveway. After the contractor no-showed for a meeting to discuss a resolution of the matter, John O'Neal filed suit versus the contractor and obtained a default judgment for an amount that greatly exceed the cost of the repairs.
  • A homeowner hired a local contractor to build decking for his home. After the homeowner paid a substantial amount of the contract price the contractor and his crew abandoned the job. The contractor left the job unfinished and some of the work performed had defects requiring remediation. The contractor, who was unlicensed, sought to recover the remainder of the contract price and additional money from the homeowner. Attorney John O'Neal represented the homeowner and the contractor dropped his claim for any additional money or obligation from the homeowner.

If you have not received the benefit of your bargain, John O'Neal has experience in handling homeowners issues and may be able to help you. If you have hired and paid a contractor who has left you disappointed, contact the O'Neal Law Office for a free consultation to discuss your situation.

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