I am building a new house. In the process of building the house, the contractor has damaged a metal entrance door, the moulding around the one of the front windows, and bent the frame of a rear window to the point it will not close. The metal door has a large dent in it and the window moulding has a semi-circular crack in it that has created a loose flap of plastic. I have not taken possession of the house yet.
What can / should I expect from the contractor in terms of reparation? They are indicating they will repair these things by patching them. This is a new house that I paid to have new doors and windows.
Do I have the right to have them replace the damaged product as opposed to repairing it?
I don't know how they handle such things here in North America, but in Germany would nobody accept such patching practice. The homeowner would insist to get everything new because he paid for new. If he would accept repairs, he would do this only if he gets a huge discount for the patched things. Let's say he would accept a repaired door, he would only accept this when he gets the entire door for almost free. So all repaired resp. patched things would reduce the house prize drastic.
Without seeing the contract you have signed with your builder, it will be had to comment on your particular situation. As a builder though, I would order the replacement pieces and let you know that I would install them once they arrive. In your shoes I would politely let the builder know that you are willing to let him try to fix them, but also let him know you expect it to look new once he is done, and if it doesn't then you expect replacement. Put it in writing to him. Then politely ask him if it is worth his trouble to try to fix it, or if it would be better to order new pieces.
If it can be repaired by patching it let the contractor do it, as this kind of issues happens all the time on construction projects, if not then the contractor needs to change it, but it is important that these kind of issues be discussed and agreed upon before starting of any project.
The contractor should have a miscellaneous budget for this kinds of eventuality. There's always issues with contractors and client about things even when contract is signed. My best advise is, have a calm conversation with the contractor and show how happy you are with his job (if you are) and unfortunately things happen on job site, but this is a problem created by the contractor and needs to be fixed by the contractor.
Before you take possession of the property you will have an opportunity to do an occupancy inspection with a representative of the builder (usually the site foreman) at this time point out the deficiencies and make sure they are on the report then follow up daily to ensure you are being heard.
It may take a while for them to fix it however, another way is to take the deficiencies list to your lawyer and insist they be repaired prior to closing,this may interfere with the closing date but will ultimately get you what you want.
If you have a contract with a contractor to build your house then it would have gone thru the New home warranty program during your permit process and in this case upon closing your builder will have to replace or repair these areas at his cost. i would advise not to make your final payment until you are happy.
Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.Find your home service pro