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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    1

    Default Is a Contractor Liable for Defective Work if He Doesn't Give a Warranty

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Pennsylvania

    I am a home improvement contractor recently contacted by customer via email. In a nutshell, he claims the plumbing work I performed ended up failing and causing damage resulting in a homeowners claim. He doesn't want me to repair the work, just to cover his deductible of $500 (and also let me know his home owners insurance is going up 80% due to it being his second claim).

    The contract he signed did not have any warranty information or guarantee. Since then, my contracts have been updated to include a 1 year warranty on workmanship. However, his claim is even outside of this period. Additionally, The pipe bursting was likely due to the homeowner turning off the thermostat causing freezing conditions, which I had cautioned him not to do.

    The homeowner requested I not call him, but rather reply by email so "he could document". I like to play fair and am willing to give him the $500 he is asking for, but I don't want that to be interpreted as admission of error. My concern is concerning any greater liability, such as the homeowner insurance paying his claim and then coming after me.

    Can I give him any refund without exposing myself to bigger problems?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Is a Contractor Liable for Defective Work if He Doesn't Give a Warranty

    If the work fell below the expected professional standard, then you can be held liable even if you don't offer an express warranty. If there is no problem with the work but a problem arose due to something the homeowner subsequently did, that's the homeowner's problem.

    You can consider asking for a release of all claims in association with any money you pay.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    17,019

    Default Re: Is a Contractor Liable for Defective Work if He Doesn't Give a Warranty

    Personally, I would stay out of it unless he allows you to inspect the damaged portion of the pipe. With the -25 weather, it was likely his fault for not turning up the heat to accommodate the lower temps.

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