We have discussed issues that may arise in the context of a residential construction project. Because most homeowners are not sophisticated in the ways of construction (and really shouldn’t be) expectations are key and keeping your nose clean as a contractor is key. Courts in some instances will lean toward the party that they deem to be less sophisticated, i. e. the homeowner, so doing anything, such as walking from a job under anything but the worst circumstances, can be very detrimental after the fact.
Recently, the Norfolk, Virginia Circuit Court gave us another reason to stay on the straight and narrow. In Builders By Design v. Wilson the Court looked at a relatively typical scenario in residential construction. The Wilson’s contracted for the construction of an addition and renovation to their home. During the course of construction, changes to the scope and price of work took place with more or less contention. Without any warning and before the construction was complete, the homeowners sent an e-mail to Builders By Design stating that it should cease work and not enter the property without the Wilson’s express written permission.