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Question DetailsAsked on 6/28/2015

Can a contractor request more labor $ if the job was more work than they thought even though we signed a contract

I have a contractor rebuilding my deck. We signed a contract with a flat labor fee, which I did not question. They are now coming to me asking for more money because the job is taking longer than they thought and they ran into unforseen challenges. I have not asked that anything be changed or revised so I don't think I should have to give them more. There should've been some level of anticipated obstacles factored into their initial contract price, right?

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1 Answer


Basically no - assuming you have not made any changes in scope of work, and provided no change of conditions that could not have been seen during a pre-job inspection are encountered. For instance, visible rotted piers or posts would not be a change of conditions - rotted wall area concealed behind a old ledger board would be because he could not see it in advance whe he did his bid. Likewise, if putting in new posts, soil conditions normal for the area would not be cause for an increase, but say you are in a clayey or sandy soil area and he hits a large boulder in a hole which would not be normal for the area - or say a buried old foundation or buried construction debris in any soil type - that would be a change of conditions that he should get fair change order adjustment for.

Basic premise - no change order if reasonable or typically encountered conditions, change order (price and scope of work with you) is appropriate for hidden change of conditions. The job just taking longer than estimated, without a change in scope, is NOT basis for a contract price adjustment - assuming the contract had a firm bid amount, and that you are not working off just an estimate without a firm agreed-upon price.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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