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
I'm not sure if he's running out of money, or he just doesn't want to
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.
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
On 6/23/07 4:14 PM, in article
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
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.
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:
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
On Jun 23, 3:14 pm, email@example.com wrote:
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