If you own a home or are contemplating buying a home you have likely considered some form of remodeling. Be it a relatively inexpensive DIY or a larger project there are various Indiana laws which govern construction projects. These laws become especially important when your DIY becomes a larger undertaking that requires a construction professional to step-in and/or if it involves a construction professional from the beginning.
All too often homeowners are unwary consumers in the world of construction contractors. This manifests itself in many ways including: dealing with significant delay, damage to your home by construction professionals during a project, wrong or substandard materials being used, and/or just poor workmanship. The Indiana legislature has enacted various laws to protect consumers and level the playing field between a sophisticated contractor and lay consumers. Two main Acts which afford protections to consumers are the Indiana Home Improvement Statutory Warranty Act and the Home Improvement Contract Act.
Both set forth various prerequisite requirements and general requirements for a home improvement contract. For example, a contractor is required to obtain a building permit prior to beginning work and must furnish the homeowner with a signed copy of the contract prior to the homeowners signing it. Indiana courts strictly construe these requirements against construction professionals. That said, if you are a contractor it is prudent to ensure you are meeting all the statutory requirements and if you are a homeowner, it is important to make sure the contract you are signing is compliant with the statute.
Additionally, the Home Improvement Statutory Warranty Act provides requirements for homeowners and construction professionals in making complaints and remedying disputes. For example, when a dispute arises with your contractor, most homeowners do not want to give them an opportunity to cure their defective work/damages; however, under salient Indiana law a homeowner must give the contractor an opportunity to do so before pursuing legal action.
The statutes pertaining to home improvements in Indiana are precise and can be difficult to navigate. While this article is not intended in any way to provide any specific legal advice, Attorney Nicholas A. Podlaski of Beers, Mallers, Backs, & Salin LLP 110 W. Berry Street, Suite 1100 Fort Wayne, IN 46802 can provide legal assistance to you if you believe you have a legal question or issue pertaining to construction litigation.