It was simple at the beginning. Brian wanted to add a family room on the back of his home to provide room for everyone to be together. The contractor drew up the plans, which were quite detailed, and Brian approved them. He and his family were on their way to many good times with each other and friends.


Unfortunately, it didn't take long for clouds to appear on the horizon with respect to the addition. Brian and his wife came home one night during the construction process to find water coming through the ceiling of their new family room. Apparently, the HVAC subcontractor did not properly hook up the air conditioning for drainage into the pan above the room causing it to flow through the ceiling. That problem was soon fixed, but others followed. As an example, the winter after the construction, Brian noticed water leaking on the outside wall near the ceiling of the room. As it turned out this was caused by improperly placed gutters and downspouts.


Fortunately for Brian, the law was on his side. When it comes to home improvement contracts, the standard of quality to which a contractor's work is held is known as the “workmanlike manner”. This means the work of a contractor should be comparable to the quality of work of an average builder, and that which a homeowner has reasonable right to expect. In Brian's case, there was not much question that the contractor was liable for the problems which occurred. However, quite often homeowners face much tougher calls. For homeowners considering hiring a home improvement contractor, the old saying that; "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is applicable. This means it is critical to read over the contract thoroughly, and keep a careful eye on builder as the work progresses.