Without any doubt, hardwood adds a beautiful touch of style and classiness to every home, like no other type of flooring. However, it’s not rare for problems to occur shortly after the new wooden flooring has been installed, due to someone’s fault. It could be a manufacturer’s mistake, a contractor’s mistake, or a fault caused by the homeowner’s improper maintenance.

As we already mentioned, Flooring Detective will figure out the cause of flooring failure after he conducts a thorough on-site inspection. After that, based on his 25-year long experience in the hard-surface industry, Flooring Detective will help you with the next steps in solving the problem.
You might think that the only way of getting things right is by going to court, but he will introduce you to the other, much more efficient, and easier alternative ways of solving the issue.
Going to court is certainly one of the options but it’s always better if things don’t get that far. In most cases, litigation is a painful and time-consuming process in which the wealthier side is always in advantage, as they can hire better lawyers. It also almost always entails huge emotional stress and of course big financial expenses. That being said, it’s way better if you manage to solve the issue without going to court.
Mediation is a method of solving a dispute through a discussion between the parties about the problem. It’s a dynamic and interactive process assisted by a third, impartial, and objective side called a mediator. The emphasis of mediation is on a discussion, as the parties should work together to find an optimal solution to the issue, which will be acceptable to each side. In mediation, everyone has to agree with the result.

Flooring Detective has an important role in mediation as he would present what the problem is and what needs to be done, and then the two sides would need to come up with an agreement with the help of a mediator. Some of the other advantages of mediation compared to litigation is that it’s a private process which is significantly less stressful and costly. Also, the relationship with the other party in a dispute is most often preserved. Most cases won’t ever go past mediation as the majority of issues get solved easily through simple, civilized conversation.
If, for some reason the problem doesn’t get resolved through mediation, it automatically goes to arbitration. Arbitration is something between litigation and mediation. It’s like a court action with a judge who is, in this case, called an arbitrator. You can think of it as a private court. The arbitrator (judge) hears the case and it works just like a regular court but instead of being in a government building, it’s held in an office.

In the arbitration process, it’s no longer “the two sides need to come up with the agreement” like in mediation. The arbitrator tells you who won, who lost, and how much he has to pay to the other person. And his resolution is binding and upheld by courts. Arbitration is still less expensive than mediation but it’s more costly than mediation. Flooring Detective testifies in arbitration and presents his objective and unbiased findings to the arbitrator.
Homeowners trying to get away with a free flooring
In this, and some of the previous articles, we’ve mainly covered a scenario where the homeowner was the injured party after a contractor made a mistake. However, don’t get fooled thinking homeowners are always the underdogs, and contractors are the bad guys. Nothing is black and white in this business and you can’t make generalizations. Some contractors might want to trick you, but the majority of them are honest, hard-working people just making their living like everyone else. And like everyone else, they sometimes can make a mistake.

The same goes for homeowners too. If a homeowner says “There’s a problem with the flooring”, it’s not necessarily the truth. Sometimes you have good homeowners but sometimes there are bad ones. There are many nasty and cruel homeowners who want to get hardwood floors installed without paying for them.

They would get you, as a contractor, into an agreement with them, but they wouldn’t want to pay you. Of course, they won’t tell you upfront about that immoral intention of taking advantage of you. So, you’ll do the hardwood flooring and then, in the end, they’ll make up an excuse. You may do the best work ever, it doesn’t matter, they’ll still figure out some excuse as they don’t have a desire to pay you. Their attorneys would start threatening with a lawsuit, for a much bigger amount then what they had needed to pay you.

They’ll do that so you’d give up and say “Keep your money, I don’t need it” even though you’ve done whole flooring work perfectly. Of course, this doesn’t happen all the time but if it happens to you, as a contractor, once every several years and you lose money every once and a while that’s not something that you can deal with.

So the idea is you add this mediation and arbitration part at the back of the agreement and then you say: “I like you, you like me, I’m going to do the work but let’s agree that if there’s any sort of a problem we’re gonna act like normal human beings and you’re not going to threaten me with a lawsuit. Instead, we’re going to sit down, talk about the issue, and solve the problem.”

Normal homeowners who don’t have any intention of crossing you over and taking advantage of you will have no problem signing this agreement. On the contrary, that agreement also works for them too! However, if a homeowner doesn’t want to sign it, then most likely he doesn’t have any intention of paying you at all, and this agreement will save you from being hustled and cheated on!
Free agreement about mediation
For all of the contractors reading this, feel free to contact the Flooring Detective and we’ll prepare for you, free of charge, this agreement that you need to incorporate at the back of your contract in order to protect your company and yourself from these greedy scammers.

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