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Question DetailsAsked on 7/31/2015

I need to cancel a job. What is the chance I can get back my deposit back before the work starts?

I signed a contract on July 8 with a contractor to build a patio. I gave him a $700 deposit - about 10% of the contract price. After signing I started to have concerns that he wasn’t the right contractor to do the job. I was concerned when he came back to show the project to “his guy” who would basically be the guy in charge every day. The way he talked to the guy and asked him “you can do this right?” made me feel less confident – I got the feeling the contractor was just a salesman and didn’t really know how feasible it was to do the job the way I wanted, with the drainage being the biggest issue Today I had a different guy, Contractor B, see the space and give me a quote. After talking to Contractor B, I felt like he had a much better handle on what he needed to do and overall I felt much more confident in him. And at this point I just can’t work with contractor A as I just have no confidence in him. Contractor A has not done any work at all on the job yet.

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2 Answers


generally a contract signed in your home has a three day right to resind. we are past that point now so, the only person who has any controll here is your contractor A. if he agrees to give you the money back or not, he may have ordered materials and by this point given a sub contractor a comittment as well and you would be in breach of contract. he may ask you for a twenty percent penalty for restocking fees etc. Call him and wish your self good luck. The only recourse you may have that I can think of at this point is that he may have promised you that he is doing the work himself and you now see he is subbing out the job. You can demand license and insurance information be provided to you for his sub before you allow them to start wok.

Answered 5 years ago by the new window man


Read your contract terms - especially any conditions titled Cancellation, or Termination or such.

You say he has not started work - but he did come out with his foreman or subcontractor or whoever, so actually some minimal effort has been expended on the job, so in all likelihood he would be considered to have "started" the job. Plus he may have gotten materials for it.

If you thought he was the contractor doing the job and the other guy is a subcontractor who is going to do essentially all the work, you may have an argument if the contract does not allow for major subcontractor work.

You can also request he and/or the foreman/sub come back out the go over the layout and construction plan with you because you did not leave the last episode with a warm fuzzy feeling about the guy's understanding of the job or ability to do it. You could also ask him/them to explain further what he is going to be doing to address the potential drainage issue you see.

There is another interpretation - phrasing like "you can do this OK ?" or "you understand what you are going to be doing here ?" is common on a job walkthrough - as a matter of confirming the guy is clear and comfortable with what he is going to be doing - that phrasing is basically an invitation for him to say "well not exactly - I see an issue with ..." or "can you clarify exactly what you are looking for to handle the drainage..." or "which one of us is doing ... ?" or such, and hence might not actually be a yellow flag item.

I would say you need some more discussion with the contractor ASAP; and if not comfortable then the issue of possible termination can come up. HOWEVER - if you bring it up and then decide to stay with him, the relationship between contractor and client will definitely be soured already at that point, so be prepared to dump him and pay any applicable costs/damages if you bring the matter up - it is not something you can ask about or say and then "unsay". You do not get "do-overs" in relationships with oyour contractor.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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