Can a contractor ask for more money than what was agreed to for a roofing job that has been not completed?

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Can a contractor ask for more money than what was agreed to for a roofing job that has been not completed?

Asked on July 5, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the terms of the agreement and why more money is needed:

1) Flat rate, all-in quote (e.g. "for $8,000 total, I will do your roof") with no changes requested by the homeowner and no events beyond the contractor's control--then no; they are bound by what they agreed to

2) A flat rate quote, but the homeowner requested a change or did something increasing the costs...the contractor can get the additional amount caused by the homeowner.

3) Flat rate quote, damage or problem beyond the contractor's control or expectations, like a tree falling on the roof during work...contractor can get the additional amount caused by the unexpected event.

4) Estimate for labor, but materials separate: if material costs go up, the cost can go up.

5) No firm quote, just an estimate--if the quote was not firm, then it is not locked in and can reflect costs, time/hours, difficulties, etc. If the estimate it too much below the final cost, then it may be that it was a form of fraud to estimate so low simply to get the work, when the estimate had no relation to what it would cost; however, this can be subjective and difficult to prove, unless it was very egregious. If it was very egrigious, however, the homeowner may have good grounds to not pay the full amount.


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