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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 17539
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I am a subcontractor in Michigan. I entered into an

Customer Question

Hello,I am a subcontractor in Michigan. I entered into an agreement with a homeowner acting as the general contractor on the project (also a friend). I received $20,000 down payment per agreement. The project consisted of interior framing (adding 2 headers, standard partition walls etc) adding a small addition, installing Windows, siding etc.I told the homeowner (GC) that I could give her a better price if she wasn't getting inspections on the interior of home etc. This was because she was looking to save money on the project. After she talked to the township inspector she stated they only required a permit for the small addition.I prepared detailed drawings to turn in for addition permit. They detailed the wall and roof framing members etc. the drawings were approved and she obtained the permit. We started the construction.Per our agreement we removed the existing aluminum siding from home, properly flashed and installed agreed windows, installed house wrap etc. A few days before siding was started, the homeowner decided she wanted to remove all the existing wood siding and wood planks from the house and install new plywood (OSB) because they believed there would be drafts coming into the house. They were going to do that work their self but to do this they needed to remove all the house wrap, flashing and Windows we already had installed. I wasn't very happy with them making that decision and springing it on me at the last minute (going against our agreement) and slowing us down.After they removed everything and stripped the house to studs the inspector drove by and seen the drastic improvements that were happening he stopped in while homeowner was there. She text me that everything I did failed inspection, inspector stated The interior framing (2 headers) he said needed an engineer to design and determine the specs etc. he also said the roof framing on the rear addition was wrong (was built per my approved drawing) and he wanted headers installed on non bearing walls. I looked in my code book and the spans were code and also code states headers above non load bearing wall openings did not require headers.This upset homeowner and basically wanted us to stop entire project. I told her that I would like to correct whatever items the inspector had problems with but she declined.Out of the $20,000 deposit all the windows were installed, aluminum siding removed, house wrap on, all framing on addition and in house done except for the items he didn't like.Every aspect of the project was priced per item. (i.e window removal and install $xxxx etc. )So I sent homeowner an invoice for the items we did and I removed the framing items that did not pass inspection. The conclusion was I owed homeowner $3,xxx, the reply email stated that they did not agree and wanted $10,000 refunded. I wanted to be as fair as possible so I sent them another invoice where I removed ALL the framing completely and also gave them a credit to pay to have addition roof redone that came up with me owing her over $7k my email also stated if she declined this offer to settle that I would return to my previous invoice of $3k. Her reply was that she still wanted the 10k.So, I am seeking advice on what to do legally. I have at least $3k of her deposit that I will send her no matter what, but does she have any grounds to take me to court for getting more money from me?I have a signed sub contractor agreement with her that states I am not responsible for permits etc.I have her money so just looking for the amount to give back or if I can give her the minimum. I just don't want a court notice in a few weeks.Any questions ask I will fill you in with details. I can also send you copy of our agreementThank you in advanceWayne Chapton
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 11 months ago.

So, I am seeking advice on what to do legally. I have at least $3k of her deposit that I will send her no matter what, but does she have any grounds to take me to court for getting more money from me?

Response 1: It really depends and I cannot make this determination within the confines of this forum. However, if the homeowner is alleging that you did not do the job as agreed and thus she is entitled to more refund, then the homeowner can take the matter to Court if you disagree with the homeowner's calculation.

I have a signed sub contractor agreement with her that states I am not responsible for permits etc.

I have her money so just looking for the amount to give back or if I can give her the minimum. I just don't want a court notice in a few weeks.

Response 2: If she is looking for $10,000.00 and you do not think that the documentation warrants it and you have offered to pay her $7,000.00 but she has refused, then you need to let her file lawsuit against you and let the Court decide. However, if you do not want to go to Court on the matter, you can go ahead and pay her what she is asking for.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Last thing, If I send her a refund check should I note anything on the bottom of the check? Basically stating if she cashes it she agrees to the amount ? If so what should I write on it? Thanks
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Also will the contract I showed you stand up in court?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 11 months ago.

First and foremost, I cannot tell you what to write on the contract. That would amount to giving you legal advice, which I am prohibited from giving pursuant to the terms of service.

If you decide to pay her what she is asking you to pay, it is prudent to have sign a standard release from further obligation on the contract. This is generally in the form of "by receiving and cashing the check, so so and so agrees to release XYZ and his successors and assigns from any further claim relating to the contract now and forever... The release of liability is enforceable. Click on the link below to see sample releases:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=sample%20release%20of%20liability