Incomplete or Poor Work
Incomplete or Low-quality Work
What happens if you make an advance payment and the work is done incorrectly or is of poor quality? What if you are the victim of fraud? Without a written contract or receipt for the payment, you could be out of luck.
It may seem unfair, but it will be your word against theirs. In the vast majority of cases in which a compromise cannot be reached, the homeowners lose their money and have to live with the frustration of paying another contractor to complete the work properly.
Your only option may be to take the contractor to court. In this case, not having a written contract can become a problem. The judge will have to determine what the deal was based on testimony; the final result may not be to your liking. Occasionally, the homeowner can even face fines and legal actions initiated by government agencies.
While having a written contract cannot prevent every problem, it can make them less likely and a lot easier and less expensive to resolve. A contract reduces potential for misunderstandings, and puts you in a much better position to demand satisfactory service if the contractor lets you down.