Legal Question in Construction Law in Michigan

I am having a new house built in Flat Rock, Michigan. Our blueprints specified 2 x 6 construction and our builder agreed to that type of construction. The blueprint is also filed in the city as 2 x 6 construction. After the first wall was put up we noticed that the builder was using 2 x 4 's instead of 2 x 6's. We immediately called him and informed him of the situation. He told us it was his house not ours. Now a complete shell is up using 2 x 4's. We went to the city inspectors and they told us it was a problem between us and the builder and that they could do nothing? We chose the lot because it is next door to our daughter. Do we have any recourse?

Asked on 2/18/13, 8:02 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

J. Norman Stark J. Norman Stark , Attorney, Architect

Dear Distressed: While I am not admitted in MI, the laws are similar to that in many other Sister states. The laws of contracts provides whatever you agreed to, in wiriting. And tjhe drawings should reflect that also. While 2x6 framing is much more than normally required for support, clearly, the builder has intentionally ignored your request and your agreement.

Of course you can now sue to compel performance, but if it is his lot (real property), you have no right to the title, without a legal battle. And, your error was in not obtaining legal counsel, purchasing the lot first, and contracting to have him build on your lot. Then, you'd have a much better legal standing to compel performance, ro to ejwect him from your property.. But, even if you sue, it's doubtful the builder will now tear down the framing or double up rthe 2x4's to accomodate your requests.

You have a choice - accept the work as it is, or walk away from it, or sue. Your call, even if it is a bitter pill to swallow.

Had you retained an Attorney to prepare a proper contract, you'd have the builder by his assets.

Good luck. God Bless...

Sincerely, J. Norman Stark, Cleveland, Ohio..

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Answered on 2/18/13, 8:44 am

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