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construction law litigation ct

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Connecticut Construction Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

by Mark J. Kovack, Senior Attorney, Stamford, Connecticut office

  • Having issues with your home improvement contractor?
  • Threatened with litigation?
  • Victimized by mechanic’s liens or threats for payments?

When home improvement project disputes (invariably) arise, a law firm experienced in construction litigation and home improvement contractor dispute resolution practices and procedures can prove to be of invaluable assistance.

Under the Connecticut Home Improvement Act, Connecticut General Statutes §§ 20-418 et seq., you, as a homeowner, have certain invaluable legal protections that an experienced attorney can help you use to protect yourself from unscrupulous contractors and bogus claims, including defending and discharging mechanic’s liens and possibly recovering your attorney fees.

Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. offers years of professional construction litigation and home improvement contractor dispute resolution procedures experience.

From a home improvement project’s conceptual inception, planning and permitting, accepting bids and entering into home improvement contracts, through inspections and final approvals and certificates of occupancy, we can guide you through the construction process and help avoid the many potential pitfalls associated therewith and disputes and claims arising therefrom.

Know your rights under the Connecticut Home Improvement Act. Know what to look for and insist upon in your home improvement contract.   Know what to demand from your home improvement contractor.

Know the options you have to opt out of a project or in defense of a contractor’s threats, demands or claims. Know the circumstances under which you may have cause to terminate your contractor and how best to go about the same. Be familiar with dispute resolution alternatives that can save you money in the event of a project gone awry.

Under the Home Improvement Act, a “home improvement contractor” is required to register with the State and present you, as the home owner, with his or her official registration number.

Strict compliance with the Act is required. Agreements between a contractor and an owner for performance of a “home improvement,” which is broadly defined to encompass most if not all home improvement projects, is governed by the Act.

No home improvement contract is valid and enforceable against you by your home improvement contractor unless it:

  1. is in writing,
  2. is signed by the owner and the contractor,
  3. contains the entire agreement between the owner and the contractor,
  4. contains the date of the transaction,
  5. contains the name and address of the contractor and the contractor’s registration number,
  6. contains a notice of your rights as owner to cancel the contract,
  7. contains a starting date and completion date for the work,
  8. is entered into by a registered contractor or salesman, and
  9. includes certain information disclosing your contractor’s interests in prior home improvement companies or businesses registered under the Act.

In addition, the Act directs that each change in the terms and conditions of the contract must be in writing and signed by both the contractor and owner.

This is an important right to know and, with the aid of experienced legal counsel, can serve as an effective tool in defending and defeating home improvement contractor claims and liens.

We can also help you resolve home improvement and contractor disputes through dispute resolution procedures that may be available to you in lieu of the expense and cost of litigating in court.

We offer extensive arbitration and mediation experience in the field of construction litigation and home improvement contractor disputes. Let us explain the differences between arbitration and mediation and help you in selecting the best options for your purposes.

When necessary, of course we can also deftly litigate and try in court even the most complex construction and home improvement contractor issues while never losing focus of the bottom line to you as the home owner.

We can help you avoid and/or discharge mechanic’s liens that often times result from your contractor’s own failure to perform or comply with the Home Improvement Act.

We are fully versed in the technical and substantive aspects of defending and discharging mechanic’s lien claims.

  • For example, is there a lienable sum for the contractor or its subcontractors to attach? Should you have to pay or is your builder’s workmanship in material respects unacceptable, unworkmanlike, and/or defective?
  • Does your contractor’s work need to be replaced and/or remediated at your material cost and expense?
  • How does your contractor’s billing compare to the schedule of values for his/her work?
  • Is your contractor billing you for work it has not yet completed?
  • Is your contractor seeking additional payments even though you already paid him/her for the reasonable value of the labor and materials furnished by the contractor for your home improvement project?

Let us at Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. steer you through the construction and home improvement contractor process and professionally assist you with any issues you may have arising from your home improvement contract.

A law firm such as ours, with attorneys deeply experienced in all manners and methods of construction and home improvement contractor disputes and resolution procedures, can prove to be an invaluable ally to your cause.

Mark J. Kovack

Mark J. Kovack is a Senior Attorney with Law Firm Urban Thier & Federer, P.A.

Mr. Kovack’s practice focuses primarily on civil litigation with a focus on commercial and business litigation, construction litigation, personal injury law, products liability, real estate litigation, employment law, alternative dispute resolution (including arbitration and mediation), landlord-tenant/housing litigation (commercial and residential), probate litigation, and appeals.