Legal issues part one by Bicycle Bungalows Custom homebuilder Houston Heights
Written for Bicycle Bungalows
The notion that we live in a litigious society is common knowledge, but even so, the lengths people will go to Sue their custom homebuilder Houston Heights is mind boggling.
There is a custom homebuilder Houston Heights in Texas who received a letter a couple of years ago from an attorney threatening to sue him, his father, and his grandfather for damages that a home sustained from foundation movement. However, none of the builders in that family built that house. The closest connection they had to that building with the grandfather constructed a home next-door decades before. It’s the only reason the builder can imagine to explain why they were even on the radar of an attorney looking to sue.
Though none of that family of builders built the house in question, the builder had more tight alibis to lean on in the event that this fact it wasn’t enough proof of the liability. He exchanged several letters with the attorney, including documentation showing that his grandfather died in 1991; his father sold his business and retired from building in 2006; and the specific builder wasn’t even in the industry when the house was constructed. He was in the army at the time. None of this builders family could possibly be connected to the foundation damage because they work building houses when it happened.
Still that wasn’t good enough for the plaintif. So the builder had to go to mediation and arbitration represents the same documentation to show the arbitrator that he had no relationship to her house someone else built. It just shows you the crap we have to deal with for people who are looking to take money from people who work. This story is a sobering one in the experience cost time and money, not to mention the peace of mind. Here’s some advice about avoiding the stress, cost, and frustration of contract dispute.
There is a custom homebuilder Houston Heights in Illinois who built more than 600 houses during a 45 year career and went through mediation and arbitration only once. Never again, he says I would rather take my chances with a cherry or a bench trial or I can tell my story and let someone logical take a look at it. See what evidence is there, and what kind of people you’re dealing with, he explains. He didn’t have a mediation and arbitration and his contracts in 2005 when a client inserted a dispute resolution claws into their deal. He decided to take the work and accepted the revision. She had her lawyer put that in there so I think it was a set up for the beginning he says. A project ample allowances four items not specified in the original house plans, and when the time came for the final payout, the builder submitted a bill for $148,000. The client complained, claiming the bill shouldn’t be that much and offered to pay just $99,000. Both parties tried mediation, which failed, so the case with arbitration. The builder and the client in their respective attorneys spent 58 hour days before an arbitration judge. The builder won the case but ended up in the hole financially for that house because he had to split the arbitration Cost with the client and pay his attorney. The client actually fared worse because she’s too, split the cost of the hearing, and her attorney charge for almost twice the disputed difference the custom homebuilder Houston Heights was trying to collect. He knows how much the client paid the lawyer because she tried, unsuccessfully, to sue him to recover it legal fees.
Arbitration is a waste of money, especially when you really know you are in the right, because the arbitrator basically wants to make things even for everybody. So if you have a good case, you get screwed because you’re being pushed to settle, the builder says.
If a future client or to try to insert a mediation and arbitration clause in his contract, the builder says he consider it a red flag and will drop the customer. One way to avoid litigation is to filter out potential clients who could turn into future litigants or micro managers. You have to do your due diligence in this business because all the liability falls back on the builder; especially if you’re a custom homebuilder Houston Heights because it’s all about your reputation, says one builder in South Carolina. You want to be proactive and take care of this stuff.
When potential customers interview the South Carolina custom homebuilder Houston Heights as part of their evaluation for selecting a builder, he also interviews them with 20 questions such as have you ever built a home before? What was that experience like? Your last builder left a dirty job site; describe what a dirty job site looks like to you. What specific qualities are you looking for in a builder? You start pricing to see if some of the stuff they tell you is a reasonable complaint. I had one guy tell me I didn’t think it was right for the builder to charge me a mark-up on things like appliances and lights. We should be able to pick our own lights and not pay markup on it. Well, that homeowner is going to be a problem because he doesn’t understand how a builder makes money. The only way we make money is by mark up on everything. Who are they going to call when the lights go out or when the dishwasher doesn’t work? He tries to explain to clients the builders add in the cost of standing behind their work to cover the cost of fixing something that fails, but some clients refuse to except that answer.
If a potential client previously had a negative experience with a builder, a builder should ask more questions about that experience to determine if the complaints are reasonable or if the client created those negative experiences himself. Custom built home clients typically are high net worth individuals and demanding customers, but some can be more difficult than others.