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Question DetailsAsked on 12/22/2017

Hired a man to pour a cement slab, agreed on a price, no contract, no money up front and agreed to finish in 7 day.

showed up one afternoon dug the hole(disposed of the fill), next day used my lumber to frame it up(did it wrong) said he would be back the next day..... every week he came up with a different excuse, 3 months later I hired someone else, now he has sent me a bill for 1/3 of the agreed price. He said If I don't pay him he's going to take me to small claims ct. Will he win?

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Lesson learned on getting it in writing, huh ? Without anything in writing, would likely come down to he-said, she-said situation. And he did do some work, so this is not a total bail on the job or scamming situation.

Plus since he is suing you (or threatening to) and you paid him nothing to date, you hsve nothing to win and can only lose, as I see it.

Figure how long he spent on it so far, and figure probably 100SF/hour plus about 2-4 hours (depending on slab size) finishing and cleanup to do the concrete work (nothing for reworking the forms he did wrong). Presumably this is a small job, so figure what percentge of his labor estimate was in the excavation/disposal and how much in the yet-to-be-done concrete work - I would guess about 50-50 range - maybe more like 25-40% done if forming still had to be redone to make it right. Then subtract the concrete cost from his total price to figure is labor total to apply that percentage to - readymix concrete (assuming this was at least a couple of cubic yard job) usually about $125-165/cy delivered.

Or another way to figure what he should be paid for the work done - just figure what his labor on the first day was worth - maybe say 4-6 hours (if that much) at $25-50/hour - whatever his rate is.

Whichever way you figure it, figure what is a "fair" payment for what he did properly accomplish and offer that in exchange for a "Paid In Full" invoice for the job and a lien waiver signed and dated by him (you do not want him having the possibility of going back on the settlement and filing a lien after you pay him). Will be a lot less hassle and probably cheaper (certainly so if you have to take time off work to go to court) - paying him a couple to few hundred, depending on size of excavation and assuming he did not rent a dumptruck or backhoe or bobcat or such to do the excavation, would in my mind be a cheap way out and avoids the risk of the court figuring you were in the wrong and slapping you with a much larger judgement.

If he did rent equipment for the excavation, then the payment might go as high as his total job bid minus the concrete cost which was not used, minus 2-4 hours of work for the estimtated amount in the bid for the concrete placement day work.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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