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How can I resolve disputes with my contractor?

You expect your contractor to perform work in your home to the highest possible standard. Accordingly, when errors or oversights occur, you will most likely feel incredibly frustrated, which can lead to a heated dispute. While litigation may be required for especially egregious errors, HGTV.com recommends the following tips to amicably resolves construction disputes.

Don't immediately place blame

While establishing fault will be necessary if you need to file a lawsuit, you should refrain from placing blame during your initial discussion. The goal should be to remedy the issue in a way that minimizes damage, and placing blame will most likely lead to an argument. Instead, calmly state your case and focus on finding a resolution. Listen to the contractor's response and make your concerns known in a respectful manner. 

Address the contractor privately

Discussing the issue with your contractor in front of his crew usually complicates matters. This gesture might result in the contractor doubling down on his defense, which will get you nowhere fast. Additionally, a contractor will be less likely to point fingers when the responsible party is present. Having the discussion in private will be most beneficial for effectively resolving the issue. 

Look over your contract

If you're not completely clear on the terms of your contract, take some time to review it before speaking with your contractor. It may contain information on how to proceed if you're unhappy with the work performed, which can prevent a lot of back-and-forth discussion about the best course of action.  Take a copy with you for your discussion so that your point is made clear. If your contractor disputes your claim, the issue might need to be taken to court.

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