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Question DetailsAsked on 11/20/2017

Can I pull out of a contract if my contractor isn't suppling me with a quote?

Our house was flooded during Harvey and we found a contractor. they have demoed the house, but he will not give me a final quote. He keeps saying, lets see what the insurance come up with. I signed an agreement in the begging, but he hasn't provided me with the copy of the agreement. At this point I want to pull out. We've paid $10K already and don't know what that even covers. My wife did not sign the original agreement, just me. Would we have to pay a departing fee?

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1 Answer


Couple of issues here - starting when you signed a document you did not read in detail and fully understand:

1) even if wife did not sign the contract, YOU probably still have a contract with the contractor. Generally homes are owned in joint tenancy, so either husband or wife can contract for work to be done on the property. Even if the house is in just your wife's name on the title (unless in a common-law state like Texas and you have represented yourself to people as being married), it probably does not matter because there is at least an implied contract (assuming she knows about the work and has not rejected the contract by halting it), so there is at leaat an implied consent there.

2) you may or may not have a valid written contract, if it did not have a defined scope of work and price, unless it provided for progressive definition of the work as it progressed. But in that case only the initial agreed-upon work (demolition in this case) would be a firm committment, and each additional scope (say after the demolition) should be negotiated and approved (scope and associated cost) BEFORE the next stage is started. You would need an attorney experienced in residential construction contract and insurance issues to look at the contract and see just what you signed up for and if it is a legal contract.

3) you may well have signed a "storm chaser" type contract, where you have signed over your insurance proceeds to the contractor in exchange for them repairing the damage (or building an entirely new house in this case). Commonly states he gets all the insurance payments for the house damage, plus any amortization/depreciation not paid by the insurer (for policies which provide depreciated value rather than replacement cost), plus your deductible. You can find a lot of examples of that issue and how insured losses are handled, in the Home > Roofing link under BVrowse Projects, at lower left.

[Sometimes slimy storm chasers will phrase it so they receive something phrased like this - "contractor shall receive any and all insurance payments related to the loss at x address" then they will demand you pay (or sign over indurance checks) not only for the building loss but also for any personal property loss, temporary housing allowance, etc - can get real naaty at times.

4) At this point - I would say you definitely need an attorney to guide you. Certainly you can get out of it - but unless the attorney can show fraud by the contractor or prove that it is not qa legal contract, is pretty much certain to cost you. How much depends on the circumstances and also on whether the contract has any specific cancellation fee in it.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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