Contractor’s mistake cost us three month’s rent

We’re doing a whole home renovation and we’ve moved out and are renting an apartment.  Our project was shut down by the city inspector after they discovered that some of the work being done on the house didn’t match the blueprints.  Somewhere between the contractor and the engineer (who aren’t the same entity but have  worked together for years) they didn’t communicate changes made.  It took three months for the city to approve the updated plans. We feel that the contractor should compensate us for the three months of rent, as this was a completely avoidable situation that is is entirely their fault.  We asked about it and they blamed the engineer (who they use, we didn’t hire them separately) and the city of Berkeley for taking so long.  Has anyone had a similar situation and can offer advice?

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What does your contract with the GC say about delays?

if they aren’t building per plan, that isn’t your issue. They’re responsible for coordinating plans. Review your contract and push back. Hire a construction attorney if needed or withhold payment for the amount of the claim.

Retired architect here replying to your post.

I'm sorry this is your experience in remodeling your home. First thing to do is to carefully read the agreement you signed with the contractor. A professional contract will address delays as they are very common during construction. With that knowledge in hand, do your best to have a calm conversation and negotiate with them. Outside of that, talk to a lawyer with experience in these matters.

It's very hard in situations such as these to keep calm, and to keep perspective on the the value of the three months rent in light of the overall project cost, especially in an expensive market such as ours. Keep calm, state your case objectively, and negotiate. As much as possible, avoid the blame game. If you'd like to keep this contractor on board, put the relationship first. Antagonism in this case is not to your benefit unless you are willing to release the contractor from the contract (carefully check the terms) and find someone else to finish the job.