Can general contractor raise price after house is finished?

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the builder would get the standard rate for his service that's all I mean jughead
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Since you don't have formal contract....I suggest you submit this to arbitration. What the house is worth is irrelevant. What the labor is worth may be relevant....What the materials cost you have a backup statement for....You have no agreement for change orders? His mistakes, his time to complete? Without a contract, not clear he can complain unless he can show you caused the delay. Sometimes it comes down to do you want to let him control the process of redress, or you? Do yo want him filing a mechanics lein and then a laywer jacks up the hourly fees or do you want to perhaps go to a low or no cost initial session with a lawyer to determine you best interest? Sometimes, a simple letter from a lawyer will survice.
Consider, what do you think he OUGHT to get paid, fairly?
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Is he from Waukegan?
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Anybody can sue anyone for anything. Doesn't mean its really going to happen.

Unless there's a provision in the contract, tough luck for him and he'll be laughed out of court.

See previous point.

This has no standing in court.

Most contracts have a time frame specified, so this could work against him in court. BTW, his written bid with your signature of acceptance is in fact a contract. Has he even presented you with a final itemized bill? Now, I'm interested to hear the other side of the story. But if the builder is just trying to bully his way to more money than he's due, his threats will go nowhere.
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In many states a contractor can add additional charges on to his bill if he feels that he can justify the additional costs he's been force to endure. I have no idea what the law states in Wisconsin, and I'm willing to bet you don't either. First of all he CAN place a builders lien on you property and make it difficult for you to get a Certificate of Occupancy.
In my opinion, you have two courses of action, one is to agree to his overages and pay. The second is to retain a lawyer for a consultation.
ONLY a lawyer can advise you as whether he has a legitimate claim or not (he probably can justify some of the additional cost, but only a lawyer can get to the heart of his claim.) Don't be foolish, no one here is qualified to give you a good answer.
He's threatening lawsuit, and you would be very foolish to take this lightly. He's a professional (whether he's a good contractor in our opinion, or not), and he well knows the construction laws and his right to claim to any additional monies due him. Get a lawyer, you will save money in the long run.

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Some years ago the contractor who remodeled my Boston row house into 3 condos, demanded $26,000 extra from me for additional work prior to C of O. I suggested we go to arbitration, he agreed. I appeared with complete paperwork, dated notes of conversations with him, copies of letters detailing his delays, dated sketches, and photos detailing every item added or subtracted. He appeared with his contract and threats of a mechanics lien. I won easily as I was prepared. He was not and went away nifonged. I suggest that you go for arbitration and be over prepared. EDS
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I would hazard a guess that not having a written contract would put a rather large hole in the over-prepared preparations.
R
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I would have long since come to terms with either one of them. The OP seems reasonable, but he seems motived to put crap in the game too. (like he's running out of money) I know that's too obvious! but it is suspect. That is.. you know what I mean
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I'm not sure if he's running out of money, or he just doesn't want to spend it.
The earlier thread, about the drywall, would have helped a reasonable person see the error of their ways. A reasonable person would have listened to all of the voices of experience that a strong contract is your best protection.
That's what seems reasonable to me.
R
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wrote:

I would hazard a guess that not having a (well) written contract would set up the situation in the first place (ie, encourage one party or the other to overstep nominal ethics).
--
Matt Barrow
Performance Homes, LLC.
  Click to see the full signature.
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wrote:

It doesn't have to be an intentional thing. If there is any wiggle room, there will always be one that wants to pay less having a different opinion than the guy that wants to earn more.
Assumptions kill. There should be a Mothers Against Dumb Assumptions ad campaign.
R
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Yes, and that's why I said "encourage", though it's a shoo-in for the many with less than optimal ethical persuasions.

Like DAM?, Mothers Against Dyslexia?
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cut him the check for the $60,000 and explain to him that you don't feel you owe him the other 13k. see if he'd be willing to go away for 5k if he refuses then let him take you to court.
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On 6/23/07 4:14 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@u2g2000hsc.googlegroups.com,

I agree with most you do need to let your lawyer handle your communication with this character. It's not your fault that HE underestimated and the contract is the contract and unless it's open ended and he left himself a way to increase his bid then he's stuck by it. If though he continues to threaten to sue you then just threaten to COUNTERSUE afterwards for your complete legal cost to fight that suit as well as possible punitive damages for stress and duress caused to you. You have already agreed to an extra amount due to changes you added but not to his carelessness in underestimating. He is the expert at building (assumed) not you and therefore it's up to him to know how to bid the job. Once bid, unless he added a provision for price changes in materials and additional time and labor caused by your changes then it is him that should incur the extra cost.
It would also be reasonable to expect him to provide you with accounting of his materials cost from all sources and compare to his initial bid. He can file a lien against the house but I doubt it would hold given you have the written contract. Be sure that all communication with him is via certified letter, return receipt requested. Be sure that on your check/payment you document and state full and final payment ACCORDING TO AGREEMENT or CONTRACT for Home at (address). If he cashes the check he's essentially agreed to the statement on the check. If he doesn't cash the check, threatens to sue then pay your check to an account you set up specifically for the charges to the house but do not give him the money. If he sues you he will have to absorb all cost out of his pocket until it's all settled in court.
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Dear Happy Human,
I have not read all the responses here as there are so many, so my comments may be redundant.
I'm also suprised there is no written contract!!!
He can probably put a lien on your house: http://www.traditionsoftware.com/constlienbystate.php Be sure to verify on your own state website that the laws they cite here are up to date.
Yes he can sue you. With an oral contract his proof of what was agreed upon is no better or worse than YOURS.
A fair judge who saw thru this common BS ploy to get more money at the end after deliberately or stupidly underbidding a job would tell the builder he was out of luck. But you may not get a fair judge, and you may get a judge that thinks anyone who doesn't get a written contract on a HOUSE deserves to be taught a lesson. The judge might think it's you who needs the lesson. Or the judge might split the difference. Who knows. I think you'll have a hard time finding a lawyer for such a relatively small amount of money (in lawyers' eyes). But builders know these games and play them well. Good luck and next time do not hire any contractors without a good contract and a lawyer on your side.
On Jun 23, 3:14 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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you CRACKER
I bet you can't screw in a light bulb
Im sorry. I have terretts! don't pay me no mind.
OOooooo usenet is in trouble now.10gb worth i intend to get my monies worth
wrote:

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