Westall, Gray & Connolly, P.A. |   wgcd@wgcdlaw.com |   828-254-6315

Contractors and Homeowners: Keep Records When Dealing With Each Other

When we meet with homeowners, business owners, and contractors or service providers from all over Asheville, Buncombe, and Western North Carolina, one of the most frequent issues discussed are disputes about work performed

Quite often we see a similar fact pattern.  First, the homeowner calls the contractor to work on the house or a local business. The contractor and homeowner either fail to sign a contract, or an unplanned event either changes the contract or requires work that the original contract did not cover.  The contractor then begins this additional work.

Months later, a disagreement arises between the two parties about what work was to be performed and at what costs.

Homeowner and business owners can become unsatisfied with the work of the contractor.  The reasons can be many, such as the contractor did not finish the work, or did not perform it in a quality workmanlike manner. However, the contractor is still billing the homeowner and expects payment.

Other times, the shoe is on the other foot. The contractor has completed all of the work according to the homeowner's request, but the homeowner believes there is more work to be done or that the contractor damaged part of the home or business, and demands that the contractor pay for the rest of the work or repairs, all while refusing to pay the contractor.

The easiest way to prevent these disputes, or quell them early,  is to keep excellent notes and records.

Homeowners and business owners should keep a copy of all contracts.  They should also take notes of the dates the contractor showed up, the work or services the contractor performed on those dates, as well as any payments given to the contractor.

Contractors and service providers should keep files that contain the signed contract between their business and the homeowner or business owner. That file should also contain notes of the employees that visited the home or business, the work performed on those dates, communications from the client, lists of materials sold to the owner, notations of bills provided and payments received.  

 Whenever contractors have any questions about what they have been hired to do,  or the work order has changed, the contractor should seek clarification by sending a letter to the client stating the work the contractor plans to do, and ask the client to respond if they feel the letter is not in line with his or her requests

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Westall, Gray & Connolly, P.A.

 wgcd@wgcdlaw.com
 81 Central Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
 Office - (828) 254-6315
 Fax - (828) 255-0305

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