If you are in the middle of a home improvement project, you may be experiencing how things can change from day to day. Unexpected discoveries and unseen conditions may have you changing aspects of your project. One thing that you should not deal with is a home improvement contractor demanding final payment on a project before the project is completed.
If your contractor demands final payment for your home improvement project prior to completion of the project, do not be bullied into making payment. You have rights and protections under Massachusetts Home Improvement Statute (Massachusetts General Law Chapter 142A) if you entered into a home improvement and residential construction contracts over $1,000.00.
In general terms, the Massachusetts Home Improvement Statute provides that no final payment shall be demanded until the contract is complete to the satisfaction of the parties, including the homeowner.
Should your contractor make demand for final payment, that demand may be in violation of the Home Improvement Statute. The demand may also be in violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection law, Chapter 93A.
If your contractor demand that you make final payment prior to the completion and your acceptance of the project, one suggestion is that you, the homeowner, do not fire off a angry letter to the contractor. Instead, one approach you could take is to arrange a mutually agreeable meeting with the contractor in order to walk through the project and put together a punch list.
In general terms, the punch list is a list of items that you, the homeowner, feel need to be addressed or corrected prior to final payment. Once you have this list, you and the contractor can discuss how to resolve the items on the list and whether the items will be repaired or modified, or whether a credit will be issued.
Should the contractor refuse to meet with you or cooperate with you, then you may consider your options including, but not limited to, making the final payment, making an undisputed payment, or contacting an attorney.
DISCLAIMER: This and other segments posted on this website are offered for informational and discussion purposes only and is not offered as legal advice. This office only represents homeowners and property owners. We do not represent insurance companies. The information contained in this segment should not be considered to be legal advice.