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Question DetailsAsked on 10/23/2016

I Signed contract and roofer cashed my Ck, then Roofer cxld contract. Says he measured wrong. Legal?

Hurricane in area after I signed. Small print on back says roofer has 30 days

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Your description ran out - small print on back says roofer has 30 days --- to do what ?

OBviously you would have to talk to an attorney for a true "legal" opinion.

If contract says he has 30 days to cancel without penalty, then you are stuck - and should not have accepted that term originally because it basically gives him a free re-do. If it does not say YOU also have 30 days to cancel, possibly would not hold up in court as being an inequitable provision.

If it says he has 30 days to start or to do the work - would have no effect on this issue.

Generally, one party cannot cancel a signed contract unilaterally - can try to negotiate a cancellation or amendment, but cannot just say "me no play by those rules any longer". If there was no term saying HE could cancel without penalty, your recourse would be to call his Bond (make the bonding company pay another contrator to do the work for the contract price) or to sue (because of likely $ amount, most likely above small-claims court amount, so you would have to sue in regular civil court at probably $1-5,000 legal costs depending on whether he fought it or not.

As for winning - in most states, if he could prove he made a honest measurement or calculation error (show original notes and remeasurement calculation), a court would allow a proportional increase in price on the ground that it would be unfair to make him do the job at a loss. [A contract is supposed to be "fair" to both parties] In some literal contract states, he would be made to do it anyway and make up the loss from his own insurance coverage if he could. Generally, a court or arbitrator would probably not give him a "get out of jail free card" on this - would probably say that an equitable adjustment for the cost of the additional footages of roofing and flashing and such would be allowed - sometimes with full overhead and profit, some would say the extra work should be just at his direct costs (without general overhead and/or profit) as a penalty for his mistake.

Best route for you (if you want to stay with him at this point) would be to ask to see his original measurements and calcs for the bid, and the remeasurements and calcs and see if he can reasonably prove the error and convince you the error was honest. Hopefully the original bid has the number of squares and such noted on it for comparison so you can tell the "oritginal" calcs were actually original and not just made up recently. Of course, you would have to do some ballpark (from the ground at least) measurements to see if his remeasure makes sense - I have heard of scammers claiming a measurement error when their "remeasurement" was all a fraud, vastly overstating the amount of work. I remember one about 1200SF ranch with about 3 foot overhangs as I recall - so about 1600-1700SF of roof area, that was bid (by a drive-by storm chaser) at 40 squares - 4000SF ! and the lender (for a reroof loan) fortunately asked for a second opinion before approving it.

Course, if you don't want to stay with him, you can accept the cancellation, (which should be dated and signed in writing, showing full refund is due) you are owed an immediate refund.

Two other possibilities to consider -

a) because of the hurricane, his potential workload has skyrocketed and he can charge higher rates than he gave you, so he wants to go off storm-chasing and not do your job at all - which would be fraudulent

b) that he is a scammer (especially if HE came to YOU about the roof issue rather than you seeking him out) and never intended to do the job, gave you a blow-off reason for cancelling, and you are going to have a fight getting your money back, especially if he does not have Bonding or Insurance - or maybe even trouble even finding him again. If not resolved otherwise in VERY short order, I would check with local fraud unit at District Attorney's office or police to see if he is known to them.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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