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What happens if my contractor did not use the materials I wanted?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2023 | Construction Litigation

If you hired a contractor to build or renovate your home, you probably had a contract that specified the materials to be used for the project. But, what if you discover that the contractor did not use the materials you agreed on?

Why materials matter

The materials used in a construction project can affect the quality, durability, appearance and value of your home. For example, if you contracted for hardwood flooring, but the contractor installed laminate flooring instead, you may not be satisfied with the look and feel of your floor. Moreover, laminate flooring may not last as long as hardwood flooring and may lower the resale value of your home.

Therefore, you must inspect the materials used by your contractor and compare them with the contract terms. If you notice any discrepancies, you should notify the contractor as soon as possible and document the evidence of the breach.

Repair or replacement

Depending on the nature and extent of the breach, you may have different legal remedies available to you. The most obvious is to repair or replace the materials used. You can ask the contractor to repair or replace the defective materials with the ones you contracted for. This may be a practical and cost-effective solution if the breach is minor and can be fixed without causing too much disruption or damage to your home.

Price reduction

You can ask the contractor to reduce the price of the contract to reflect the difference in value between the materials you contracted for and the materials used by the contractor. This may be an appropriate solution if you are willing to accept the materials used by the contractor but want to be compensated for their lower quality or value.


You can ask the contractor to undo the work done with the defective materials and restore your home to its original condition. This may be a drastic solution if the breach is major and affects the structural integrity or functionality of your home.


You can sue the contractor for damages for breaching the contract. You may be able to recover the cost of repairing or replacing the defective materials, as well as any other losses or expenses caused by the breach, such as loss of use, diminution in value, etc.


You can withhold payment from the contractor until they remedy the breach. You may also have a right to file a lien to secure your claim against the contractor. However, you should be careful not to breach your obligations under the contract and follow the proper procedures for filing a lien, which may require professional help or consultation.