Job cost exceeds estimate

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(dyrymywy) wrote:

So it was OK to do this type of verbal contract and expect this to not happen in the 90's? That's a good one. Perhaps even better, it sounds like it wasn't even a verbal agreement as to the price, only an estimate.
It sounds like the contractor's lacky is admitting that he agreed to more than was delivered. If the OP doesn't have a witness to this, I'd try to get a hold of the lacky again, on any excuse, and see if you can get him to say it again in front of a witness. Or even better, get him to say it on the phone and make a recording of it, but first check your state laws. In most states, it's OK for a private party to record their own phone conversation. In some states, consent of the other party is required.
If the contractor wasn't fully paid, I would withhold payment. If he sues you, it's likely to be in small claims court, where you don't need a lawyer. Or if you have paid him, you can take him to small claims. It's a toss up, IMO, as to who would win.
This is a classic example of why you need a written contract. And any contractor that is reputable, would not do a job like this without one, as it protects both parties by clearly spelling out the scope of the work, the cost, etc. It takes 15 mins to do and saves a world of trouble.
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On 23 Nov 2004 06:29:37 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net (Chet Hayes) wrote:
<snip for brevity>

This is a heartfelt "me, too" from a contractor. Combined with getting a couple of estimates and checking some references, this can save consumers a lot of anguish ... and contractors, a lot of aggravation..
Ken
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No, no.
"with a written agreement, you have a prayer. With a spoken agreement, all you have is air". Paraphrasing Robert Ringer, in Winning Through Intimidation.
--

Christopher A. Young
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On 21 Nov 2004 16:36:36 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@kconline.com (dyrymywy) wrote:

If the contractor wouldn't give you a written estimate, why the heck did you even let him begin?
Depending on your state laws, he may be in violation oif one or another requirement for providing an estimate inw riting, it is possible you may be able to tell him to take a hike...but I'd talk to a lawyer first.
Never, ever deal with someone who won't give you a written estimate first. Or at least wear something attarctive so you'll feel good about yourself as you take it in the shorts. ;)
Jim P.
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