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Barrister, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 37853
Experience:  16 years practicing attorney, JD, BA, MBA
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I received a quote and contract from a contractor to build a pool and pool house. The cont

Customer Question

I received a quote and contract from a contractor to build a pool and pool house. The contractor went 24% over budget and later invoiced me for the difference. There were was no addendum or change order signed for the approval of items that were invoiced. Do I still have to pay the contractor?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is Barrister and I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can..Can you tell me what the overage was for?.Did materials cost more than were estimated or was the additional money for labor?.Does the contract specify that all materials and labor will be included for the contract price?.Were there changes/additions that were made that the customer requested?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Overage was for a list of additions and changes. Many were items that the contractor failed to include in his quote and or mis-calculated. He needed more materials and labor than was he quoted. The quote was a complete list of all items included in the quoted price. The changes and additions were requested by the customer. The customer also requested the cost of the changes in which he failed to provide. Draws were paid and invoice with the extra charges were provided after the contractor received his payment.
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Ok, if there were additions or changes that were requested by the customer, then the contractor would have the right to increase the contract price by the cost of those changes. If he failed to amend the contract to specify how much it increased, then the customer could dispute the charges and if the contractor sued, the judge would make the decision as to how much more the contractor should receive under the legal doctrine of "in quantum meruit", which means "as much as he is entitled to"..If the increase was due to the contractor making mistakes or underestimating the amount of materials, then the costs wouldn't normally be allowed because it is up to the contractor to make sure his numbers are right before he proposes a contract..So basically it boils down to what was the reason for the overage....customer changes or contractor underbidding. If a combination, then a judge would typically award the contractor his materials costs, but only a portion of his labor costs as a penalty for entering into a contract without making sure his numbers were correct...thanksBarrister