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    phillis Funderburk's Avatar
    phillis Funderburk Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 10, 2007, 02:31 PM
    Can I fix hazardous steps if a contractor is refusing to fix, and threatens to sue?
    I live in central Texas. I hired a landscape contractor to install retaining walls and a patio which included 4 steps in stone. These steps range in size from 6.5" to 9.5" and the tallest is on the top! They are very dangerous. He refuses to do any fixes, and walked off project. At one point in the final meeting he threatened to sue me for non-payment, but I told him go ahead because the work needed to be redone/fixed and that I had lots of proof. He walked off the job, without receiving his other half of the money and said MERRY CHRISTMAS (I had given him half at the start of project) but he added as he walked off that if I told anyone anything bad about him or his company he would "come after me" which I wasn't sure if that meant physically or if it meant that he would at that point sue me. I need to have the steps repaired but am not sure if I need to leave them this way until the statute of limitations runs out before I do (In case proof is needed). (and how long is statute of limitations in this case?)
    These steps are VERY HAZARDOUS and need to be redone, but I don't know what the legal steps are if he intends to sue me or not, or if he just changes his mind someday down the road and sues me, so should I leave it as is just in case.:confused:
    LisaB4657's Avatar
    LisaB4657 Posts: 3,662, Reputation: 534

    Jul 10, 2007, 02:37 PM
    Take many pictures of the steps, from all different angles. Then have the town or county inspector come in and look at it, and ask them for a written report. Then have at least 2 (preferably 3) other contractors come in and give you written estimates for the repair.

    Once you have done all of this, send a letter to the original contractor (one copy by regular mail and one copy by certified mail) enclosing copies of the estimates and the inspector's report, and informing him that he has 10 days to appear at your house to repair the steps. And then say that if he does not repair the steps within 10 days you will have it repaired by another contractor and that the cost of the repair will be deducted from the money you still owe him. He will get any money that's left over. If the cost of repair is more than the amount you still owe him then you will hold him responsible for the balance.

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