does an estimate become a contract if both parties agree on it and start work

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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does an estimate become a contract if both parties agree on it and start work

estimate was agreed upon by builder and subcontractor. there was a clause on it
stating deposit was required to start work and secure pricing which was agreed
upon by builder and paid to subcontractor. Also on estimate it states that
progress draws are to be made weekly on work completed on estimate.This was done
and contractor paid for draws turned in for the first 4 weeks and now more work
has been completed for 4 more weeks and subcontractor has’nt been paid for. Now
builder is saying he can pay me when he wants and feels like paying. So my
question is is estimate a contract according to these surcomstances

Asked on January 18, 2017 under Business Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A contract is formed by mutual agreement as to the terms, a demonstration of that mutual agreement (which is often, but does not have to be, by signature), and an exchange of "consideration," or promises or things of value. If you both agreed as to the terms; demonstrated agreement by starting to perform or work; and there was an exchange of consideration--his promise to pay you in exchange for your work--then an enforceable agreement or contract was formed. If the builder does not honor it, you could sue him for breach of contract to enforce its terms--i.e. for payment.

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 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.

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