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Discussion Starter #1
first of all, i am new here and searched the forums but could not find anything related to this topic. My question is:

The homeowner (an investor) wants to deduct pay on a 100k remodel I did for him. We are almost passing the final inspection this week. I told him it would be a 60-90 day job but it has turned into a 150 day job. Rain and permits really slowed it down but i had other projects to work on too. Is it legal/possible for him to deduct pay off my final progress payment or overage charge due to the timing of the job. I did tell him the project would be finished in January.

Any info helps. Thanks.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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I don't think a single text message carries much weight relative to a signed contract. However, it's generally not a very good business practice to lower a current project's priority to go work elsewhere--particularly if you're already behind schedule.

Legally, you can probably hold him to the letter of the contract. Ethically, it might make sense to throw him a bone.
 

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Get familiar with the Lien laws where you're at. With some study you could possibly file it yourself. Here the law says the filing needs only to be "substantially correct". Here it will encumber the property 180 days. Here I think the filing fee is $2.
 

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I do a pile of subcontract work for larger GCs who's jobs are mostly in the 100k- 1 mil range and they go way over the scheduled end date on almost every single project. 3 months behind on a 100k job sounds pretty normal to me...

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Contractor of the Month
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I'd communicate clearly the unforseen cause in delays....unless you infact dropped the ball...then throw him a bone.

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Ask the guy if there would have been extra money in it for you if you finished the job ahead of time.

Chances are, he'll say 'no'. End of story.


Good point ! Matter of fact,I don't think it would be a legal binding agreement if it did not mention extra money for early completion.
 

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John the Builder
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You sir, are farked.

Self-farked.

Multitudinously self-farked.
 
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When was your "Start Date"?
In NJ your contract has to have start date and completion date to be legal. If the contract isn't legal you can kiss your money goodbye no matter how "in the right" you are.

Of course the completion date should always have in writing an out for weather, material, and owner not making decisions in a timely manner delays.

Did you keep a daily journal on the job progress? Such as ...Owner took two weeks to decide on fixtures...or some such holdups.
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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Good point ! Matter of fact,I don't think it would be a legal binding agreement if it did not mention extra money for early completion.
It doesn't mean it has to be a two-way street. A contract can have four possibilities.

1. No mention of either a bonus or a penalty.
2. A bonus for early completion.
3. A penalty for late completion.
4. Provisions for both a bonus for early completion and a penalty for late completion.

Lacking anything in a contract, the only option available is No 1.


On the contract, I stated "Completion date 60 days".

Kewl. So you took longer than 60 days. What does the contract state should happen? You get penalized? You get a bonus? You get to sleep with the homeowners' wife? He gets to sleep with yours?

What? Enquiring minds want to know.
 

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Super Moderator
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On the contract, I stated "Completion date 60 days".
Is this a written contract? Sorry but I'm starting to believe this might have just been a quote you provided and got a text or verbal to proceed. There's a reason we are called contractors and this forum is contractor talk which would explain all the questions you were asked above about what your contract said. Don't be offended since it's the first question asked from our members when crap like this arises.

If you have a pretty good standard contract, it would have covered these things at least a little bit.
 

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Hair Splitter
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I never put a completion date on a contract. There are too many variables that come into play. I have rarely completed a project when we thought it would be completed. Often clients add work or make changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It states exactly:

"PROJECTED COMPLETION DATE: 60 days from commencement
Completion date subject ti change based on City delays"

The city held us up a little bit, but it has been 6 months since commencement. Ultimately it is probably 70% my fault for the delay. I am not offended at all. This is actually a long time client of mine. But the relationship will probably be ended after this job.
 
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