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I have a customer who has signed a contract for a large remodel project. After putting money down, their son found another contractor who will do the job cheaper. They are 5 days passed the rescission time period. My lawyer says I can hold them to the contract. I have already paid out for overhead on this project, and I've been burnt this way before. Any advice?
 

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I've had this happen as well and have tried to remedy two ways:

#1- Hold them to the contract.....this turned out horrible, for me. The client was an absolute A$$ through the project, I'm talking a deck here not a big remodel so i can only imagine how this could end up..

#2- Let them buy me out from the contract: got paid for my time spent and any materials I had ordered, which I then gave to the client.
This situation happened after the first so I was a little gun shy about having to deal with another A$$ hole for the duration.

I would talk to the client and let them know what your costs are, so far, and that they are at LEAST responsible for those costs and then get the money and run.........

Just my .02

Good luck with this!
 

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The simple answer is that you don't want to be in a relationship with someone who wants a divorce, and it's better to find that out before a lot of the hairy stuff gets started. Even if you have to lose a bit to get away from them, it will be worth it in the long run.

Just give them an itemized bill for the work done so far, and run away as fast as you can. If it gets sticky, mention "breach of contract" and "signed lien release" but only as a last resort. They may come to their senses with the other hack and want to come crawling back. Whereupon you can charge them twice as much to take over in the middle of the job. ;)
 

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Contractor of the Month
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Tell them no problem and schedule a meeting. Hand them your invoice to date with a refund cheque for the balance and they can see if jumping to another contractor is still "cheaper".
 

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Hair Splitter
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Tell them no problem and schedule a meeting. Hand them your invoice to date with a refund cheque for the balance and they can see if jumping to another contractor is still "cheaper".
Agreed. No options, just give them back their deposit minus expenses.

This is a good time to put a profit loss clause in your contract. This clause states that if they breach the contract you are due all profit to made on the job.

Also this is when I use Holmes as a good example to customers. All that I ask is if they have seen the show. If they say yes, I ask how often did the cheapest contractor work out.
 

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Best route has been said already. I personally would give them their money back minus whatever time or money I had invested up to that point, would be horrible to work for someone who doesn't want you there.
 

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Agreed. No options, just give them back their deposit minus expenses.

This is a good time to put a profit loss clause in your contract. This clause states that if they breach the contract you are due all profit to made on the job.

Also this is when I use Holmes as a good example to customers. All that I ask is if they have seen the show. If they say yes, I ask how often did the cheapest contractor work out.
That's a good angle to take. I use it in my pitch, but not as precise with Holmes addition. I may use that in the future. Or aim them at Renovation Realities when someone mentions doing it themselves. That show is hilarious. Some of the things I take for common sense, I guess isn't.
 

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I have a customer who has signed a contract for a large remodel project. After putting money down, their son found another contractor who will do the job cheaper. They are 5 days passed the rescission time period. My lawyer says I can hold them to the contract. I have already paid out for overhead on this project, and I've been burnt this way before. Any advice?
Option #1: Listen to your Lawyer, they Breached the contracts. Hold the whole deposit and let them out, just make sure they release the deposit to you in writing... If not sue them for Breach Of Contract, you entitled to make a profit, because you already have a contract.

Option #2: Be a nice guy and give back the deposit, maybe they will give you more work in the future because you a nice guy, or refer you to a friend... while the other guy makes the money you entitled too :no:
 

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Kowboy
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If the job was properly sold, there should be no subsequent shopping and no "buyers remorse".

Look inward, Grasshopper.
 

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If the job was properly sold, there should be no subsequent shopping and no "buyers remorse".

Look inward, Grasshopper.
Seems it was properly sold and with a binding contract.:eek: The son apparently threw his parents under the bus with a cheap hack.

I see the question as how to handle a cheap arse HO (abbreviation intended in this case) who is trying to back out of a legal agreement.

I would NOT want to work this client either. They will probably go out of their way to make the job almost impossible to work on.

He needs to bill accordingly for all his time spent, etc. and if they disagree, then if he has a well written contract there will be a clause in there to collect (or at least have full ammo to get a judgement).

If the time on the schedule was reserved already, then it only adds to the cause since he could have booked other work during this time frame.
 

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New Quirky Carpenter
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greg24k said:
Option #1: Listen to your Lawyer, they Breached the contracts. Hold the whole deposit and let them out, just make sure they release the deposit to you in writing... If not sue them for Breach Of Contract, you entitled to make a profit, because you already have a contract.

Option #2: Be a nice guy and give back the deposit, maybe they will give you more work in the future because you a nice guy, or refer you to a friend... while the other guy makes the money you entitled too :no:
I like to be the "nice guy". although Greg's rough on the edges, he makes a good point. It's business!
I would meet with them, after all costs and jobs' lost expenses were factored in, and explain to them your losses. Then, or maybe before, ask to see the other contract and explain to them why you are more.

Personally, I am green on my own and sometimes need the cash flow to work for people like this. I know my knowledge isn't much.

Bottom line: how much do you need that job (beyond expenses...)?
 

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Hair Splitter
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I like to be the "nice guy". although Greg's rough on the edges, he makes a good point. It's business!
I would meet with them, after all costs and jobs' lost expenses were factored in, and explain to them your losses. Then, or maybe before, ask to see the other contract and explain to them why you are more.

Personally, I am green on my own and sometimes need the cash flow to work for people like this. I know my knowledge isn't much.

Bottom line: how much do you need that job (beyond expenses...)?
While it is "business" two wrongs don't make a right. Legally you may or may not be entitled to keep the entire deposit. Ethically I cannot collect what I have not earned. You never need cash flow bad enough to start that cycle.
 

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I have not had this problem, but my contract states after I get the deposit, I keep 10% of the contract price. but most of my contracts are less than $4,000.00. And most of my materials are already on the shelf.
 

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There exist many reasons simply to tally up the expenses and give the remainder of the deposit back to a customer. "I want to hire someone else, cheaper, after the 3-day period" isn't one of them, in my opinion.

There's no reason to have a fight about it; it's only about the money, and being reasonable people who obviously understand the value of a dollar, they're simply waiting for your attorney to tell them the amount of the payment necessary for you to release them from their contractual obligations.

It's nothing personal, and don't offer them any reasons to take it personally.

Edit: I'm not sure I properly conveyed my point, which is that you should play hardball, but nicely.
 

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Hair Splitter
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There exist many reasons simply to tally up the expenses and give the remainder of the deposit back to a customer. "I want to hire someone else, cheaper, after the 3-day period" isn't one of them, in my opinion.

There's no reason to have a fight about it; it's only about the money, and being reasonable people who obviously understand the value of a dollar, they're simply waiting for your attorney to tell them the amount of the payment necessary for you to release them from their contractual obligations.

It's nothing personal, and don't offer them any reasons to take it personally.

Edit: I'm not sure I properly conveyed my point, which is that you should play hardball, but nicely.
Robert is on the dime.
Play hardball, but nicely. You are working to make money.
Please explain what would be some reasons to "tally up the expenses and give the remainder of the deposit back to a customer."

Fighting cost time, money and energy. The OP needs to find out if it's worth it. He also needs to talk to a lawyer and find out what his rights are. Breach of contract doesn't mean that you are necessarily due anymore than expenses. It all depends on your states laws as well as their determination.

Often it's cheaper to settle than to fight, regardless if you are right or wrong.
 

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Hair Splitter
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It still amazes me that people have these issues with clients. I think buyers remorse is a direct effect of poorly managed expectations..
Agreed! Not selling and separating yourself from the herd. If it's a price thing you haven't sold your value. Value should be your commodity, not price.
 

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Please explain what would be some reasons to "tally up the expenses and give the remainder of the deposit back to a customer."....
These would be some of my reasons to do that:
The customer loses a job; customer has car accident and priorities change; customer's wife files for divorce; job is too small to fight about; etc.

Sometimes, even "I changed my mind and I don't want to do it any more."

But not, "I changed my mind and I want someone else to do it."

- Bob
 
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