What can I do if I hired an unlicensed general contractor to perform some remodeling work but what he did was subpar and I am not happy with it?

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What can I do if I hired an unlicensed general contractor to perform some remodeling work but what he did was subpar and I am not happy with it?

I have him coming back to redo some stuff. However, it is still not to my satisfaction. Now he is in trouble with the city over installing my bathroom without a building permit. I want to take him to court and get a refund of some monies paid. Would I have a case in small claims court?

Asked on October 7, 2015 under Business Law, Wyoming

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The issue isn't whether it was to your satisfaction or not the issue is whether it was to generally accepted commercial standards as good as the average contractor, more or less. The law doesn't give you the right to compensation because you personally are not happy--after all, maybe you are very picky, or unreasonable. But if the work did not live up to the generally accepted standards and you can prove that which might require having another contractor, one who is licensed, testify, then you may be able to recover for subpar work.
If he lied to you about being licensed, you may also be able to seek compensaton relating to the delay in the project due to him being unlicensed, or the cost to have the work redone e.g. by a licensed contractor so the city will approve it. But if you knew he was unlicensed, you would not be eligible for compensation for this, becasue it would be your fault for picking an unlicensed contractor.


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