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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Not Happy with Contractor's Work

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Illinois

    Our HOA recently approved bricking in our mailboxes as long as they match the facade of our house. I contacted the same mason who accomplished the brick and stone work when the house was constructed and entered into a verbal agreement to have my mailbox bricked in. We discussed that the cost would be higher than others in the neighborhood because of the fieldstone that I specifically requested and I verbally approved the extra cost.

    The mailbox was installed in two phases- first the base for the fieldstone, then once that set, the contractor returned early Sunday morning and installed the remaining brick and fieldstone- When I woke up, I discovered a 'finished' mailbox- however, the work was not something that I would have approved if the contractor had taken the time to ring the doorbell and let me know he was there- I promptly called and left a voice message asking the contractor to please contact me because I would like the fieldstone work to be 'fixed'- the stones are too far apart and look nothing like the facade of my house- I further stated that if it was an engineering issue, ok- just call and explain, and if it was a cost factor, that I would pay for the cost of extra stone so the placement could be closer together. My contractor did not return my call. I called again on Monday and left another voice message- no reply.

    This morning I found a handwritten invoice for the mailbox ($200 more than we discussed over the phone) placed in the mailbox- not mailed- and my questions are:

    Can I withhold payment (or partial payment) until the work is re-accomplished or repaired?

    Since there was only a verbal contract, do I have any recourse if I am not satisfied with the work done?

    How long do I have to get the work redone/is there any sort of implied 'warranty' period?

    I hate being confrontational and feel foolish because I attempted this as a surprise for my spouse who is deployed to the middle east- I'd like for him to be surprised when he gets home, and know he will be unhappy with the mailbox the way it is now. I'm embarrassed and don't know if there is any recourse I can take in this situation.

    Thank you to anyone for their advice!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    28,099

    Default Re: Not Happy with Contractor's Work

    Can I withhold payment (or partial payment) until the work is re-accomplished or repaired?
    if you want you can but that does not mean he cannot sue you.

    Since there was only a verbal contract, do I have any recourse if I am not satisfied with the work done?
    sure. proving your position is more difficult but you have a contract still.

    How long do I have to get the work redone/is there any sort of implied 'warranty' period?
    Not sure what you are looking for here. A warranty would not apply to the situation and not sure what you mean by having to have the work redone and a time limit.

    I hate being confrontational and feel foolish because I attempted this as a surprise for my spouse who is deployed to the middle east- I'd like for him to be surprised when he gets home, and know he will be unhappy with the mailbox the way it is now. I'm embarrassed and don't know if there is any recourse I can take in this situation
    .

    well, it is as simple as this:

    did you convey to him a specific design or design elements. Were those requirements met?


    if yes, then you have a valid claim to have him repair the situation, at his cost.

    If no, then you are at fault, or at least partially at fault for this so any remedy would be the result of a negotiation but you have no real support for your position to require him to do anything.

    as to the added $200;

    did he give you an estimate or was the price contracted. If it was contracted and there were no provisions for additions without approval, then tell him you do not wish to pay anything more than was agreed to.

    if he only provided an estimate, you must defend your refusal to pay on the basis that the price, as estimated, was presented as a reliable estimate and unless there were unforeseen justifications for the price increase that would be allowable under the contract, you are not responsible for the price increase.

    If the contract was something such as:

    it will be about $500 and then it ends up to be $700, then you are going to find it difficult to deny the extra.

    a surprise for my spouse who is deployed to the middle east-
    tell him thanks from a guy that never had to serve because of those that did and continue to do so.

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