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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I signed with a kitchen contractor for cabinets, granite counter

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I signed with a kitchen contractor for cabinets, granite counter top, removal and installation, half payment out front and balance when completed. Half way thru He asked for additional money for the counter top, which I gave him, then two weeks later he said he couldn't provide the top at all and I would have to purchase it. I purchases with the money remaining from the contract and charged for my time, gas, travel and because my wife is tied to her kitchen pain and suffering. My wife has a pastry arts degree. My question did he break the initial contract by asking for more money then not being able to supply the counter top as stated in the initial contract?

Thank you for your question. I am a licensed New Jersey professional. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.


There are two separate issues here, and please permit me to respond to both.


There are actually two potential breaches of contract here, one that he committed against you, and one you committed against him. In terms of his potential breach, if he requested more funds for the same exact work, it may be a breach of the original terms. Likewise, requesting that you purchase the top at your own expense without benefit could be a breach of terms. He could request or ask that you purchase it on your own, but would not be able to charge you for value out of the original contract.


On the other hand you could not charge him for your time, gas, travel, or pain and suffering--this is a contract, and unless he expressly contracted with you for chose charges, you could not pursue them against him. Furthermore, New Jersey law does not grant 'pain and suffering' for a contractual breach, but for personal injury claims, something that did not happen here. If you failed to pay him based on this withholding, the courts would not deem it be reasonable and would request and require that you pay him what he earned, minus value for the top itself.


Good luck.

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