When is it time for a property owner to finally get a construction litigation lawyer involved?

2 weeks ago

I have constructed a timeline where as a homeowner, I was the one that has questioned our HVAC licensed contractor about his installation. He installed 80% gas furnace units in a non-vented attic space. I brought this to his attention and several other poor installation items after reading the installation instructions and paying for another hvac to support my findings. After meeting and agreeing to change the gas furnaces from 80% to 95%, I thought we were better off. Thank goodness I ordered a building permit for the second attempt as the first attempt the contractor did not order one. Building inspection failed, I called our OEM of the HVAC equipment and requested they come out to validate the installation was done correctly. Our contractor and HVAC distributor representative showed up by request of our OEM HVAC customer device folks. After reviewing the installation, the HVAC contractor left us stating we don’t owe him anything and that we could find another contractor. We have filed a formal complaint with the TX Department of Licensing and Regulations. The HVAC distributor representative is not able to run any ACCA measurements without a licensed HVAC person. The HVAC distributor confirmed that our contractor did not share nor figure any measurements for our house. Our HVAC distributor representative didn’t know why the HVAC chose a 3 Ton where a 2 Ton upstairs application. We have two units 3 ton unit for downstairs and now 3 ton for upstairs with incorrect sized plenums along with other failed installation instructions. We are waiting for the Texas State investigator to make contact with us. Glad to share timeline if needed for review.

Additional info about this contractor
Project Role: Owner
Project Type: Residential
Attorney E. Aaron Cartwright III, Attorney At Law
41 reviews


This is a complicated question. You should get a construction litigator involved when you want to recover some money. That’s the simple answer.

The complicated answer is that you will want to evaluate the cost of having everything installed properly and to code and decide if you want to or are able to recover against the previous contractor. The problem, you may find, is that there are two parts of a lawsuit. The first part is winning. The second part is collecting. While you may be able to succeed on breach of contract, DTPA, negligence per se, or a myriad of other claims, the question of whether the contractor has the money to pay or any assets to recover against should be evaluated up front prior to spending money on an attorney. You, of course, may do whatever you like with your funds.

E. Aaron Cartwright III

Disclaimer: I am an attorney but I am not your attorney... yet. The information provided here does not create an attorney/client relationship.
1 found this helpful

Thank you Mr. Cartwright. To my understanding, the Texas investigator will inspect the work and will fine the contractor and have them make the correct repairs. We hope this is as far as we have to go, but we know the contractor is insured but we don’t know if he has the assets to cover the repairs.

Attorney The Chapman Firm

Hi there – I am not sure what you are asking or what the end-goal is. Perhaps if you can add that I can better guide you. Thanks.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of answer without seeking legal or other professional advice.
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