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Business question

Dean_19 Member Posts: 4
I have all cost covered, but most of the profit would come from the final payment.


  • Dean_19
    Dean_19 Member Posts: 4
    final payment

    My question is if I have a job that is being paid 1/3 up front 1/3 on rough inspection, what if the customer decides to do the finish themselves? I have a signed contract that states I will be completing the job. By the time you find out that the customer finished it themselves it's too late to pull the permit off the job. Do I have any recourse since I have a signed contract? Do they still owe me the final payment? Thank you in advance for your help.

  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    Has the money......

    .........you have received to date covered all of your labor, overhead and materials?

    The Radiant Whisperer

    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • Brad White_147
    Brad White_147 Member Posts: 14

    I would rely on the contract.

    I would say if your contract says you will be finishing the job and the HO, without further negotiation (changing the terms of the contract which means you both have a meeting of the minds), you are still owed the full value of the contract.

    [I will assume that you were not remiss in finishing by a certain date or fell behind schedule at all? Any rationale or justification for the HO finishing?]

    As a contractual analogy, think of a lease for an apartment. You agree to lease terms of a year but move out after six months. You still owe the full lease amount. Never mind that the landlord is given an empty apartment available for other rentals, that is not the point. The landlord is due the full amount and possible recovery of damages. He or she had not planned on dealing with the irresponsible.

    Back to your case:

    You entered into a contract to provide a service, parts and labor to a schedule and for consideration (the agreed-to price).

    Whether or not the HO takes over (absent you meeting prescribed deadlines say), is immaterial. You booked time, planned, purchased material, committed resources and planned on a certain amount of overhead and profit to be met.

    Say you have been paid for material and time invested to date. What about your overhead? What about your profit? Why should you be denied?

    I would love to hear the HO's side.

    The other side of this is stickier. Was the HO's work in the areas of gas or electrical hookup? Areas of permit/licensure liability? Can you vouch for the quality and safety of the HO's work? How will the warranty be serviced?

    Absent some good reason from facts not presented, I would seek payment in full and indemnification for any defects in work not done by you personally.

    My $0.02


    (Not an attorney but with almost a year of law school FWIW)
  • Dean_19
    Dean_19 Member Posts: 4

    I have met all time lines and have been paid enough to cover all labor and expenses. Most of the profit would come from the last payment.I am assuming the HO can see that is an easy quick finish, so he is figuring it's not that tough so why not save a buck.. Thanks for you advice.

  • Perry_2
    Perry_2 Member Posts: 381

    While I am a homeowner - I am currious? Has the homeowner been talking of finising the job himself... What brings up the question.

    If they have - you might wish to drop a comment to the effect that you made every effort to provide a fair priced bid on the entire project, not on part of the project.

    That should alert the homeowner to the idea that he may not be free with diverting from the agreed upon contract without further discussion with you. However, be prepared to supply a "buyout value" for where you are.

  • Dave Belisle
    Dave Belisle Member Posts: 68

    Over the last 30 years I have run into the same thing a couple of times.

    What I do is figure out the labor and material cost if I had finished the job and deduct it from the final bill, but not my profit....

    Then I would present the bill to the home owner Minus that labor and material , Hold your cool, You might be surprised how he reacts as he knows he is in the wrong . He may just pay your bill and you have your profit you expected to make on the job...

    If it that doesn't work my next step is to send him a bill with a copy of a small claims filing that if this bill is not paid within 10 days you will be filing with the court.
    ( copy the original and type on the copy because nine out of ten times you don't need to file ). He will see your serious and won't want to go to court because he knows he broke the contract. And if you have to go to court the Judge is going to see you have fulfilled your part of the contract to the best of your abilility and are been trying to be fair.

    Good luck , The HO is hoping you will go away.
    Hold your cool, be fair, and stand firm....

    Dave in NH
  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,040

    You can bet your @#$ I would not warranty even a bell wire if someone else touches my work. End of story. Nor would the mfg of the parts, I would think. Shame on him for taking food out of your fridge. I would think he is certainly still accountable for the profit you had figured and counted on making. Unless the orig contract had a provision for him to opt out and finish himself, who is he to change the terms? This is something we should al add to our contracts today!

    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • Dan_15
    Dan_15 Member Posts: 388

    Is this permitted in your town? Where I live there are particular consequences depending who pulls the permit. If the contractor pulls the permit then the inspector would not certify the work unless the contractor is there. If the HO pulls the permit then they must get a HO exemption, which provides among other things, that the HO is not eligible to make a claim from the state reimbursement fund. I doubt my town would certify a job finished by the HO under a contractor's permit.
  • Dean_19
    Dean_19 Member Posts: 4
    Business question

    Thank you to everyone who responded, your answers were very helpful and informative. This is my first time on this site and I am very pleased and thankful to everyone.

    Thanks again

  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    Dan has an excelletnt point

    And one I will reinterrate...Under our laws, the one who pulls the permit is responsible for the installation to meet all applicable codes. I don't know the full story, why would the HO finish this themselves is beyond me but..As I stated in another post awhile back, befriend an a lawyer, get them to help draw up a airtight contract form. This saved my butt on countless occasions.
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