Did my contractor rip me off?

So I signed a contract for a builder to build me a garage and a covered back porch for $53,000.   That's the amount we agreed to.  He is about completed.  However, I am finding out he was lying about quantities of materials that he itemized on his proposal.  For example he quoted 16 squares of shingles and it was only 10.  And he quoted 6500 bricks and it was only 4000.  So does he owe me back for these items, or since I agreed to the total price, am I pretty much SOL?

21 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago

    I would share your concern and displeasure just to see his response as he wants to have a happy customer and positive word of mouth. I doubt you can get a discount. Ask him to explain it to you as "confusion" and a "concern," not a lawsuit.

  • L
    Lv 4
    4 weeks ago

    Do NOT make a Final Payment until you take all documents to a lawyer.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    You have a CONTRACT with supplies listed. He over estimated supplies. A good contract includes a payment schedule, with the last payment due up in completion. Do not pay the total last bill without asking him to adjust the cost of materials.

    Do not let on that you expect an adjusted bill until the work is completed.

    I had a contractor who gave me a labor price and a material list (I ordered and paid for the materials to be delivered to my home) to make a deck. While we were out of town for the day, the contractor built the deck.BUT, he returned the balusters and changed the design to screw them to the framing and toe nailed the newel posts to the decking, completely changing the design of the deck. I incurred restocking fees for him exchanging the agreed upon materials. When we got home later that day, the crew was loading MY materials that I paid for onto their truck. He gave me the incorrect material list to the tune of us paying over $100 in restocking fees, including 9 boxes of fasteners. 

    We hated the designated he told us we would learn to love it. I DEDUCTED $500.00 FROM MY FINAL PAYMENT AND TOLD HIM HE WOULD LEARN TO LOVE IT.

    My point is, there is protection in a contract, USE IT!

  • Mr. P
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    You would not be wanting to pay more if he underestimated, so just pay the agreed price.

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  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    You are SOL

    He eyeball estimated it.  He definitely was not going to short himself so overestimating is not unusual.  At least HIS BACKSIDE IS COVERED.

    You agreed to the price so what is YOUR beef?  That material left over you can return back to the store where they were bought(unless they are special order) then you are stuck with them.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Rather depends on the basis of the contract. If you agreed a lump sum for a garage and that is what he built, there should be no issue. The fact he estimated quantities is irrelevant provided that he gave you the amount necessary to a reasonable (or specified) quality to do the job. If he had underestimated he would have to suffer the loss so many give themselves a bit of leeway. It was up to you to satisfy yourself that his offer was acceptable before signing up for it.

  • 4 weeks ago

    It is called a lump sum fixed price contract. The numbers in the estimate are just that estimates. He takes all the risk on whether the estimates of material he made are correct. Had he been wrong he would have still been required to do the job for $53,000. .


    I was in the business of getting contractors to do work for my company. Once the price was agreed to the real concern was the quality of the work. If you got a quality job then count yourself lucky. Some times you get a contractor that under bids a job and then either asks for more money or does a less than acceptable job.

  • 4 weeks ago

    No--you are NOT SOL.  You need to go over each and every single item on his list with him--before you pay him. He may have over-estimated. But he SHOULD adjust the prices accordingly. It's not uncommon for a contractor to over-estimate needed materials--and it's not a scam. They sometimes just don't know what or how much to order. BUT--if he ordered the extras, and you are being charged for them when he didn't use them, then you refuse to pay until he gives you a complete accounting of materials used, amounts, and prices of each. 

    Ask for price adjustments. And ask where the extra materials went, if he can't come up with them. Make him PROVE what he bought, what he used, and how much it was. That's the legal responsibility of the contractor anyway--so don't neglect this step before you write that check to him. 

    And if he can't give you a reduction, an accounting and a list of what he did and used, then you take him to court for it. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    The time to scrutinize a contract is before you sign it.  The contractor fulfilled his obligation- pay up and move on.

  • 4 weeks ago

    His estimate was way off but it doesn't mean he owes you anything.  If you bought the supplies for him to use, then return the leftover.  If he bought them, then your contract was fulfilled.  You owe  him the $53,000 and he owed you the specified garage and covered porch.   He can return them, keep them or toss them.  If you would like to have the extra, ask him.

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