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Joseph, Lawyer
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Experience:  Attorney with significant and substantial experience in multiple areas of law.
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I am a general contractor. I hired a flooring contractor. He

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I am a general contractor. I hired a flooring contractor. He was to install hardwood floors and stain them. He messed up and it took myself and some of my laborers, along with a lot of expense on my part, to help his employees get the job finished before the deadline that he was given. The contractor not showing up and his employees not being prepared with supplies to fix the project and complete it. We still went over allowed time. I paid the flooring contractor 50% up front, now he is billing for the rest. What if anything am I liable to pay? Thank you.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

The contractor breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing as well as his other obligations under the contract by messing up, failing to show up, and not having prepared employees, causing you to go over the allotted amount of time.

Since he has already breached the contract, you would be released from your obligation to provide him with the full 50% that he is due. However, since he (or his employees) did continue to work for you after the mess up, believing that they would receive compensation for what they were doing, you would be required to pay the contractor the fair value for the services that were provided. (This is from the doctrine of promissory estoppal).

To avoid litigation, I would suggest that you try to reach an arrangement with the contractor to compensate him for the value of the services provided, since he failed to fulfill his contractual obligations to you under the contract itself, but his employees still assisted you and your laborers in finishing the job.

I would say that a fair amount would be the original amount less the value of your and the labor's time spent in fixing the mess and helping get the job done. (If that's 50% or less of the value of the contract, you would have no further obligations under the agreement).

I hope the above information is helpful.

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions as I want to ensure that you are completely satisfied with my service.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get paid for my work.

Thanks and best of luck!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, I think I understand. I have felt that if I add up my expenses and labor to get the project done, and take that off of the remaining 50% he believes is owed, then whatever that number may be would be my obligation to him. If I am understanding you correctly this is what you are saying as well. He did, however, try to back charge for his employees being there, because he said what we did to fix the problem was unnecessary, but said I could keep it since I was there. I talked with several other professionals about what he had done, they confirmed my belief and they assured me he did not fix his mess up the correct way. So his back charges were completely inappropriate, I believe, so I was disregarding them. However, if I need to address them whatsoever, should I just add them to the 50% and then again subtract all of my expenses? And, I should add, that his own employees did not agree to what he did to fix the problem, and that the only correct fix is what we finally did. If I am understanding you will you let me know please. Thank you so much for your help.

Hello Wes,

Yes, (only) if the back charges prove to be valid (and appropriate) you would add them to the initial contract amount and the subtract all your expenses (including your time and labor).

Yes, in your discussion with him, I would definitely recommend that you state that his employees did not agree with what he did to fix the problem, and agree with you that the only correct fix is what you did.

Thanks again.
Joseph and 10 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much!

Hello Wes,

Thank you for your positive rating of my service. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should you have future legal questions.

Please request me directly by placing “to Joseph” at the beginning of your question and/or requesting me directly.

When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (9-10) there as well. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks again and best of luck,


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