If a handyman damaged a shed he was supposed to put together, do we still have to pay him or does he have to pay us?

I bought a storage shed for $400. I hired a handyman to put it together for $250. He didn’t read the directions, put it together incorrectly, and damaged all of the pieces (with cuts and screws in the metal), in the process. I offered $50 to him for labor but does he owe us for the replacement of the shed? Is $50 reasonable for his work, even though he ruined it?

Asked on December 18, 2010 under General Practice, Texas


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You paid someone to use his expertise to assemble the product you purchased.  It doesn't appear you had a written contract with him and luckily for you his services were less than $500.00 so it doesn't have to be in writing as usually required by the Statute of Frauds.  If you cannot use any of the pieces of the $400.00 shed, you should be able to recover the $400.00 for what he damaged.  You are not supposed to make money off of his negligence but basically you are supposed to be made whole.  If you cannot purchase another $400 shed you may wish to have him buy the shed you both agree he should purchase for you. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.