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What happens when a contractor abandons your project?

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Construction Litigation

Whether you are remodeling your home or doing a new build on property you just purchased, a lot of trust and reliance goes into the contractor taking charge of the project. When your expectations fall short, this can be frustrating; however, when a contractor completely abandons your project, it is not only feels like a violation of trust, but it creates a complex and often costly situation.

Project abandonment

There’s nothing positive about abandonment; however, if you believe your project was abandoned by your contractor, it is important to fully assess the matter before taking legal action. There could be a valid reason for their absence; however, if this cannot be cleared up, you will need to explore whether a breach of contract occurred.

Your contract may contain clauses concerning work stoppage or abandonment. Additionally, it may include payment terms and stipulations regarding communication and notice periods. If you believe there was a violation of the contract and abandonment occurred, you could seek legal action.


Before moving forward with a legal action, you should consider communicating with the contractor first. It is possible to clear things up without involving a formal process. Nonetheless, it is imperative to document everything that has occurred as well as any actions that took place since you believe abandonment occurred. This includes taking photographs of the work site, documenting what material and tools have been left and an updated record of any transactions and communications.

At this point, you could hire another contractor to resume the project and seek damages that incurred because of the abandonment and need of hiring a new contractor. While construction litigation may be the necessary step to take, it is important to consider mediation or arbitration to reach a resolution. If mediation is bypassed or failed, then litigation will be necessary. You can file a lawsuit for a breach of contract to recover damages related to the breach.

Construction law can get complex; however, this should not deter you from taking action to protect your rights. A legal professional can help you understand your legal rights so you can make an informed decision regarding your matter.