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I had a contractor build a deck for my house without getting

Customer Question
a physical contract. He verbally...
I had a contractor build a deck for my house without getting a physical contract. He verbally stated the price of the deck to be "under $15,000". Since April, he and his workers worked 7 days, and I ended up paying $16,500 total for the labor hors worked, and "all the materials needed" to complete the deck. However, the last bit of materials for the railing and finishing touches costing roughly $2,786 was not ordered by the cotractor, and hence the deck has not been completed. I have his signature in initials on his contractor's invoice paper detailing the money received. we have filed a claim with the BBB, and have contacted him numerous times to try and work this out amicably, but it seems to be going nowhere quickly. I would like to know if I have any true options with seeking a small claim suit in the county in which we live (Berks County, PA).
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 13 minutes by:
12/1/2010
Lawyer: Joseph, Attorney replied 7 years ago
Joseph
Joseph, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7,280
Experience: I have 15 years experience in the legal field, currently specializing in criminal and family law
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Candidly, it may very well come down to a small claims suit. However, you may be able to address the situation in another manner.

 

First, you should certainly try a bit longer to address the matter in the way you've been handling it, attempting to resolve it directly with the contractor. If that doesn't work in the very near future, you may want to retain an attorney to write a demand letter. A demand letter is a rather simple letter that demands that the problem be cured and in a set period of time. Failing this, the letter indicates that the matter will then be pursued by whatever legal means necessary.

 

If you shop around a bit, you can probably find an attorney to write this simple letter for a nominal fee, perhaps a couple hundred dollars. After all, it won't take but about 30 minutes of his time. It's amazing what a letter from an attorney can do!

 

Of course, if this doesn't work, the only way to ensure action is to file a lawsuit.

 

I hope you found my answer helpful. If so, please click on the green ACCEPT for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated! Thank you and good luck!

 

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Lawyer: Joseph, Attorney replied 7 years ago

I am going off-line for the evening. Please feel free to respond, if necessary, and know that I will be back on-line tomorrow.

 

Thank you for your patience.

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

Joseph,

Without any paper contract, will my word hold any water in a judges eye if I were to file a claim? Or, am I basically at fault for allowing this to occur, and I must lay in the bed I made?

Lawyer: Joseph, Attorney replied 7 years ago

A written contract would certainly be helpful, but it isn't required by law in this situation. As to the "helpful" aspect, if you had the terms in writing, it would obviously make your case easier to prove. Without any written evidence, it will come down to your word against his and the judge will need to determine the credibility of each of you to make a ruling.

 

I hope you found my answer helpful. If so, please click on the green ACCEPT for my answer. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated! Thank you and good luck!

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

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Lawyer: Joseph, Attorney replied 7 years ago

I am going off-line for the evening. Please feel free to respond, if necessary, and know that I will be back on-line tomorrow.

 

Thank you for your patience.

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