Can I sue a contractor over labor and materials for using inferior building materials?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue a contractor over labor and materials for using inferior building materials?

I hired contractor to build a deck. It stated in the contract to build the deck with specific premium materials, however the contractor built the deck with the cheapest lookalike deck boards. He got paid for the project but wouldn’t give me the invoice/receipts to apply for the warranty. I was able to get one of the invoice/receipts from the store and it shows that he did use the cheaper deck board.

Asked on January 19, 2019 under Business Law, Oregon


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the contractor for breach of contract for using inferior materials. Your damages should include having the deck re-done with the premium materials by a different contractor. Damages are the monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit. You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by finding a contractor in the area whose fee is comparable to other contractors. If you fail to mitigate damages, your damages will be reduced accordingly.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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