construction process and increased costs

3 weeks ago

We are working with a small, custom home builder. Prior to building our home, the builder received bids from all necessary contractors and then we wrote up a purchase agreement based onnthose costs. We’ve never built before so are new to this whole process.

We’ve recently had a few things come that are very concerning and would appreciate your advice. First, our floorplace was open with a sight line to the outside. Due to an oversight, when the plan was sent to the engineers they determined a large support beam was needed. Our builder wasn’t aware of this either, didnt inform us and even the framers missed this. After all framing had been completed and the roofers were beginning, the wieght of the 2nd floor began causing it to severely sag. At this point it was realized that this large supporting beam was missed and our whole 2nd story had to be jacked up to insert this post. We are extremely disappointed because we weren’t wanting a post in this location of our open floorplan. We are also concerned about the integrity of the structure since this was missed for weeks and weeks.

Another big concern is regarding our electrical bid.The day we met onsite with the owner of the electrical company we asked to see our electrical plan. We were told that we didn’t have one yet and that was the point of meeting that day so we could develop one. We didn’t get through our entire walk through that day and scheduled for a follow up meeting 4 days later. When we returned to the jobsite for our 2nd meeting the electrician had his crew working on our home and pretty much the entire upper floor and part of the main floor had already been completed. We hadn’t signed off on any of the work, nor had we even seen exactly what was included in our original electrical plan. However being new to the process we expressed suprise that they had already made so much progress but didn’t really think through all the ramifications of them doing this and still assumed that the electrician would provide us the plan. Most our specialty items hadn’t been cmdone yet so we assumed that they were just doing basic wiring we needed anyway.

Later that day we asked our builder about the electrical plan and why we hadn’t received it and his response was that “they don’t really give those out-its not a thing” and we trusted him as we’ve never built before. However, the more we thought aboutitt, the more its been bugging us especially since the original bid was worded vaguely & over $10,000 of the charges were under a category entitled general wiring.

Within the next few days the entire home had been wired and then a week later we got our revised bill with our upgrades and the cost from the original bid to the new cost had increased by 60%! We had discussed many options, but since we never got an electrical plan and never signed off on the upgrades are we on the hook for paying this entire bill? Perhaps we would have gotten a few other electrical bids or eliminated some of the discussed options had we known the costs associated with those items. Furthermore, things were done that we didn’t want and some switch locations wrong as the electrical guy never took any notes on either visit because he assured us he didn’t need to and would remember. We dont want to sign this form since we are now only seeing it after the fact and we still never even got a copy of our electrical plan!

Please advise.

Additional info about this contractor
Project Role: Other
Project Type: Residential
Senior Legal Associate Levelset
355 reviews

The terms of your contract will be extremely influential when determining whether the bills you’ve received are appropriate. And, considering the number of issues here, it’d be wise to have a Texas construction attorney review your contract, circumstances, and any relevant communications and other documentation.

With that being said, if the work performed wasn’t approved, and if the contract didn’t allow for additional work without owner approval, then you shouldn’t be responsible for the new and unexpected charges. Plus, if your contractor or subs have been extremely reluctant to provide you with project documents, that should be a red flag. Finally, it’s completely natural – if not advisable – to hold off on signing anything that would serve to authorize the work after the fact. Again, consulting with your attorney will help to identify what is and isn’t safe to sign, and they can help to set the record straight with your contractor and subs.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Rather, this content is provided for informational purposes. Do not act on this information as if it is advice. Further, this post does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you do need legal advice, seek the help of a local attorney.
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