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

Answers:

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. 


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