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Question DetailsAsked on 11/9/2017

Can we be billed for a 4 month old invoice, stating it was not part of initial contract? No change order received.

Our initial Line Item Contract states 'Estimate'. It is slightly vague. It describes general jobs like 'Demolition'. The worded contract states that any change orders will be in writing and signed by both parties. There is a line for his 20% of total. I agreed to 2 change orders. The final bill has these change orders, but not at the agreed amounts. It also includes an HVAC subs bill - 4 months old, and states it is a change order and not part of the initial bid. (We had a dropped HVAC ceiling which was discussed from day 1 to remove for open concept). We never received notice this was not included in the original contract. The line for HVAC says 'Rough Trim/Unit/Start' up, and has a cost of Zero. This sounds like for a new AC which was not our case.

I sent him the amount I agreed to which is $3800 less. He said he doesn't agree and needs payment in full. We received a 20 day notice. Can he file a lien when the bill is not in line with the contract? Wondering what the next step is?

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Voted Best Answer

Depends somewhat on the scope of work - sounds like it was not very well defined. But sounds clear on change orders - which should be submitted and approved BEFORE the referenced work is started, otherwise they have no meaning.

Sounds like you have a contract amount stipulated, plus two approved change order with $ amounts - I would contact him (in writing/eMail so you have a record) summarizing the contract amount and the two approved change order (at the correct amount on them) and showing the total you think the job should run to, subtract off any deposit or progress payments made, show a BALANCE DUE or REFUND DUE based on how much is left unpaid (or overpaid).

And indicate in the leter/eMail that the HVAC ceiling work was included in the original scope of work, so not an additional cost item, and there was no new unit installed so the zero-cost item on the original contract should still be zero cost - and let him argue from there to try to justify the HVAC bill.

I would also check the HVAC invoice - is it even shown as being for your job - might have gotten into wrong file and not even for your address - which would make it easy to dispose of that issue.

Here are a few links to similar questions with answers and explanations of overrun issues, change orders, etc which might help:

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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