When you have a construction project, everything from a company’s projected completion date and the building material they are willing to use can impact your decision about which company to hire for your job.
While it may be easy to tell if a construction company misses its deadline, it may be challenging to determine whether they used the building materials that they promised until something goes wrong. Fortunately, you may have some options if you discovered that your contractor engaged in some bait-and-switch tactics to lock you in at a higher cost.
What does the bait-and-switch approach entail?
Builders may promise to use certain high-quality materials or high-end finishes yet replace them with inferior ones. Your contractor should notify you if they do this and perhaps refund the difference in cost. It may give rise to a bait-and-switch tactic if a contractor opts to use inferior materials without first securing an owner’s consent to do so.
A deviation from a design plan after a property owner agrees to it may also constitute a bait-and-switch tactic.
How might you avoid falling victim to bait-and-switch tactics?
Property owners can minimize their chances of a construction company taking advantage of them by checking professional license and references before hiring them and asking for proof of insurance.
You should carefully read any contract before you sign it to see what liberties it gives your contractor to switch out building materials without consulting you. You may want to pop in to check on the building process periodically, ask to see receipts for materials purchased or ask for photographs, video and some other proof of the materials they’re using.
You’ll want to include any requirements that you set for your contractor to follow in the contract. That’s the only way to ensure that the terms are legally enforceable.
What can you do if your contractor engaged in bait-and-switch tactics?
You may want to have a third party, such as an inspector or another construction company, come out and assess your property if you suspect that an impropriety occurred. Should you discover that’s the case, then it’s time to consult with an attorney about your legal options.