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Old 11-26-2012, 06:48 PM   #1
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


We bought our home over a year ago from a contractor that bought it as a flip house. It turns out that all the work done is ****ty and is causing serious damage to our house. Here's a list of problems we've so far encountered:

1) our windows were improperly installed causing water to leak around all 12 of them. The result it wood rot, drywall damage, and the need to replace it all.

2) both showers were improperly installed and leak into the basement. They weren't caulked properly and we had to recaulk both tubs. Too late as the basement flooded and now we have mold under one of them.

3) tiles were not properly glued and grouted both on the floors and walls. The tiles are cracking, grout if coming out of the spaces, and the tiles are popping up.

4) pinched water line to the ice maker in the fridge and improper placement causing it to burst and soak basement

These are just the serious, damaging issues we've uncovered so far. There are a bunch of smaller issues, such as nail heads popping out from the wood and peeling paint.

My main point is...can we sue the previous owner, not for not disclosing information, but as a contractor that did a ****ty job?

We live in CT and can't afford to live here anymore because of the money we are wasting on this **** hole. What else can we do? We've only been here for a year...

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Old 11-26-2012, 06:54 PM   #2
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


A law suit is not really an option.
Weather you go after the contractor or home owner it will take years and a lot of money to get any return( watch mike holmes) I'd suggest that you fix what you can and sell the house.

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Old 11-26-2012, 07:00 PM   #3
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


Going to have to have a chat with a lawyer on this one.
Was there an written or implied warrenty?
Was it bought as is?
There was no way for them disclose flaw that did not show up until after the fact.
Not even a home inspection would have been able to find these type things out.
Have you contacted the person that did the work?
Was any of it permited?

Please do not misread my reply and think I'm sticking up for his shoddy work in anyway.
I get hired sometimes to do inspections as a thrid party before someone buys a home. The licenced home inspector goes in and finds nothing wrong. I go in behing him and find two legal pages of flaws. Just got to know what your looking at I guess.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:28 PM   #4
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


I suggest you speak with your attorney, but do some leg work ahead of time so you can provide some background information. Outline the scope of work you believe was done on the home and check with the local building department to see if a building permit is required and if one was issued. Check to see if you were provided with an electrical certificate for any electrical work performed. If a realtor was representing the seller they had a responsibility to act in good faith, check as to if they were the realtor who represented the previous owner; the issue is did the realtor have knowledge of the scope of construction and did they have a responsibility that they did not fulfill. good luck.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:30 PM   #5
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCamper
I suggest you speak with your attorney, but do some leg work ahead of time so you can provide some background information. Outline the scope of work you believe was done on the home and check with the local building department to see if a building permit is required and if one was issued. Check to see if you were provided with an electrical certificate for any electrical work performed. If a realtor was representing the seller they had a responsibility to act in good faith, check as to if they were the realtor who represented the previous owner; the issue is did the realtor have knowledge of the scope of construction and did they have a responsibility that they did not fulfill. good luck.
To what end though? Even if you can prove the work was bad,Un permitted, the realtor knew of the issues.where will that get them and at what cost?
It will be held up in the courts for years.
Even if you win and the judge orders the contractor to pay you,he could take years to do it.
If it would get you out of the purchase of the house then I'd say go for it,but it won't.

Last edited by sublime2; 11-26-2012 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:31 AM   #6
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


CT = The United States = Can sue anybody for anything.

Remember though ... legal fees are expensive and anything that has anything to do with the legal system takes time. It doesn't sound like you have a lot of excess of either time and funds at this point. I would just call a lawyer and have a preliminary chat with them. You'll learn much more than from a bunch of dudes on a forum.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:07 PM   #7
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


That really sucks... my gut feeling is that its going to cost a lot more than what you'd get... but definitely talk with your attorney.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:15 PM   #8
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


Do you know exactly what all they did? If the tubs were not touched there is a good chance the caulk just dried up. Sadly we had a similar issue with our home. It sat vacant for a year so we got a pretty good deal on it. I have done a ton of DIY work including building our own house. I know to caulk everything good or you will have issues. It just did not dawn on me that perhaps the caulking was not good. So we ended up with water leaks under both showers in the first few weeks after we moved in.

I hate to say it but I would think you are SOL. Its been over a year so its yours for better or for worse.

A lawyer is just going to cost you money. When it comes down to it if he was permitted and passed inspections then he built it according to his legal requirement. If he did not get permits then that should have been discovered when you bought the house.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:36 PM   #9
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


Hate to say but that is typical of a flip house. Make it look pretty and hide all the problems behind nice new looking drywall and paint.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:12 PM   #10
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


Quote:
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Hate to say but that is typical of a flip house. Make it look pretty and hide all the problems behind nice new looking drywall and paint.
And sell it!!
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:18 AM   #11
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


You don't list where you are from in your post (or your location in your member info).

Many states have a license and registration program to oversee contractors. This can allow them to help Home Owners with similar complaints.

My suggestion is to contact your state offices to make an inquiry. Sometimes the best place to start to get answers from (and it won't cost you just to get answers) - is your State Attorny General's Office.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:34 PM   #12
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


Buyer beware. You've got to do your due diligence on the most expensive purchase of your life. I don't think you have any recourse unless you have a written warranty, which I seriously doubt.

Next, most states are now requiring contracts to be licensed, but if he owned the home he is allowed to do whatever work on it he'd like. If there was a home owner who hired a shoddy contractor that may be another story. But, unfortunately being bad at something isn't necessarily a crime. If they did the work thinking they were doing a good job you can't really do anything. Even if they went into it knowing they were going to do sub-standard work, how would you ever prove that?

As someone else already mentioned, I'm not sticking up for the guy. I just know how hard it is to legally prove things. You're going to waste a lot of money fighting it. Of course, if you win, you could ask for your legal fees, but I don't think that's the case. And before you contact a lawyer, who obviously has got a monetary interest in taking your case, whether it has merit or not, contact your local bar association and ask for a referral to someone that specializes in your case. You will get a reputable person.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:24 PM   #13
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


Buyer beware, did you have a home inspection before you purchased it?
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:32 PM   #14
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


If you prevail in a lawsuit, and you claim legal fees in the action, the court may award them to you---years later when it is settled. I suppose you might get lucky and find an attorney willing to do the work on contingency but I really doubt it.

After you prevail in court you enter the more crucial and usually most heartbreaking phase of it all, and especially with cheap flipper type contractors. Try to collect even with airtight judgements against the person or companies. These slimey flippers hide under cover of darkness and flip their business names as often as homes. They really do not care about establishing reputations as quality renovators or construction contractors. You might nail their license---if they had one---but you are likely to never see a dime.

And if you bought the house as is you will not likely prevail in a suit in the first place. Sorry that the deal too good to be true isn't working out for you.

I think you should definitely call the State licensing board and attorney general. And go ahead and register a complaint.

I think you owe it to yourself to sit down with a good attorney for a consult so you at least know where you stand. Most would offer that for free or at a reduced rate. Then sadly I tend to agree you should cut your losses and put the money into fixing the house. Chalk it up to an expensive lesson learned.

Last edited by user1007; 11-29-2012 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:22 AM   #15
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Do I have any recourse against contractor that did home


The problems you have, I think, can be fixed with the money you will spend on lawyers.
Wood rot can be repaired without tearing out the framing around the window. Is it window weather proofing or just poor flashing/caulk?
What is rotting and how much, because you need to know these things before falling victim to another "everything has to be torn out" kind of sales tactics. Same with other repairs you need.
Take a deep breath, take this a life's lesson, itemize the repairs, take photos, and ask for advice in forums like this.
Find out, if you can, who did the work. I doubt town's permit office would have a record of this, since none of it really requires a permit. Complain to the realtor, written. Contact BBB. At this point, all you can do is damage control for yourself, and maybe try leaving a warning about whoever did the work.
Ask the neighbor, maybe somebody working in the permit office, get a name or two, be upfront about getting a diagnosis only, and never sign a contract on first meeting.
Cheaper way to replace the shower is going with pan only with curtain around. Tiles don't have to be replaced with tiles. Chance to inspect the plumbing valves.
You can sell the house, but next house will have its own problems, and I assume you like the location.

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