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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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Contract with gen. contractor to enclose porch and put up

Customer Question

Contract with gen. contractor to enclose porch and put up deck. Contract states new walls to enclose porch should be 2 x 6 walls. He put up 2 x 4 walls. Contractor wants to settle by reducing his price by $500. Walls are 8 x 7 and 24 x 8. If I don't agree to this he said he would attach 2 x 2's to get 2 x 6 walls. He would remove insulation and replace it with thicker for 2 x 6 wall. What are reasonable options for me? Also contract states an allowance for deck and rails material including stairs. Contractor come to me and says more material is needed to finish job after half finished. Price increase is 50%. Am I responsible for his error? He is the expert, not I. I believe I have a fixed contract. Isn't he responsible for overruns? Job not finished. I haven't signed any change orders. What can I do? Extremely disappointed. Fred
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

You are entitled to the "benefit of the bargain" - meaning the contractor must perform the contract as agreed to, and for the price agreed to.

If you cannot reach an agreement, you can sue the contractor for breach of contract (you can sue for either (a) cost of repair - cost of having another contractor come and perform the job properly, including materials; or (b) "specific performance" (requiring the contractor to come back and do the job properly).

Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.