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Question DetailsAsked on 5/26/2017

I signed notebook paper that had the amounts that were quoted to have work done on my deck. Is that binding

I had a person who was going to do some deck and fence work, he wrote the amounts on a piece of notebook paper. It doesn't have anything stating that it is s contract. We both signed We are unable to have the work done due to financial restrictions, can he hold me liable?

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Unless it is signed and dated, has a performance period (start and finish or at least a completion date), scope of work and pricing (which it sounds like it might have those in the form of a few itemized work items with costs), it would not legally be a contract. Does not have to specifically have the word "contract" or "agreement" to be a contract, though.

Given the lack of paperwork, whether it is a contract would depend on the intent of each party - certainly by the contractor signing it he showed intent to do the job for that amount. Not so clear what your intent is without some statement saying you were signing to acknowledge the bid or to agree to the price - but an arbitrator or court would probably infer the latter because one does not normally sign something that is just a quote or bid - only the contractor signs that, if anyone does at all.

I would contact him and say you are unable to do the job at this time due to the financial restrictions - most contractors are not going to want to do business with a client who says they cannot pay.

If this is an emergency situation - unexpected medical bills, etc, you might have a "force majeur" - beyond your control - excuse for cancelling the contract. Otherwise, he might have call to demand some compensation from you - certainly any labor and materials already spent on preparing for the job (though you would get credit for any refund on returns, or if not returnable the materials would become yours if you pay him for them), and maybe a claim for his expected profit or such if this is a termination for your convenience.

Also - if it has not been 3 days since you signed it, google about the 3-day cancellation period on home improvement projects - it may be cancellable by you, using the prescribed procedure in the law.

Be sure you get something in writing and signed that says the contract is cancelled, and showing (and keep receipt or check copy) any monies you pay him on the job, including any non-refunded deposit.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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