Ask the Expert: Assisting a client through a messy dispute

Sticking with this month’s theme of construction litigation, we thought we would highlight a real-life situation where we were able to assist a client who found themselves wrapped up in a legal issue involving renovations to their home.

The Issue

Our client had agreed to hire a contractor to do some much-needed renovations on their over 40-year-old home. As part of the renovation project, the contractor was to install new kitchen cabinets, as well as new cabinets in the washroom.

After several days of work, our client was informed that the job was done. Everything looked to be in order, so they paid the contractor for the work.

Although all seemed well upon first glance, over the next few days, our client began to notice problems with the work. Cabinet doors were not closing properly in the kitchen. Some cabinet doors would catch and scrape up against others. There was a large crack visible on the back side of the new cabinet door in the washroom.

This renovation had seemed to be just fine at first, but there was clearly major issues with the work that was done.

Upon realizing this, our client phoned the contractor to discuss the issues, so they could get them repaired. After all, the work they paid for was not done to any professional standard.

Unfortunately, the contractor was not helpful and insisted the work was done to the highest standard. Since they were already paid for the work, they refused to admit any wrongdoing and, more importantly, refused to come back to fix the issues or compensate the client in any way.

This dispute made our client extremely uncomfortable and they quickly realized it was not something that could be worked out between the two parties.

The Solution

After assessing the situation, our client decided the best course of action was to explore their legal options.

They quickly hired a lawyer, who then contacted us immediately. Glenn was able to come in, assess the situation and produce a hard-hitting report, outlining exactly what had transpired with the renovations and what the issues were.

It was clear to everyone involved that the job had not been done right, but Glenn was able to put this into writing in a way that would benefit the client in a court of law, if not settled sooner.

With this report in hand, the client’s lawyer was able to go to work to try to reach a settlement with the contractor. The client was reimbursed for the bad work in the end, as well as the cost of our services and the legal advisor, and was able to use that money to hire someone else to come in and do the job properly.

The Lesson

If you ever find yourself on either end of this situation, finding an expert witness like Glenn is a proven way to bolster your chances of achieving a successful outcome.

Construction and renovation disputes like this are all too common and Glenn has years of experience assisting lawyers and clients with this type of work.

For more information on our expert services and how we can help you in such an awful legal situation, please contact us today!

About Glenn Duxbury

Duxbury & Associates Building Inspection and Consulting Ltd. has received the 2004 Douglas College Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the ‘Consulting’ category for persistence and pursuit of excellent service delivery to clients by providing very thorough and professional Inspection Reports and dedication to those involved in buying / selling / building / renovating and maintaining uncompromised customer focus.