Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 11/10/2017

I signed a roof contract but not work has been done or money has been paid. The 3 days has passed. I want to cancel

Roof company is over charging me for their product. Almost double of what is in the market. How I can cancel this contract? Do I need to hire a lawyer. I have not paid anything to the roof company. Just signed a contract.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

1 Answer


Guess you have learned your lesson about getting several competing bids for any significant scope of work before signing anything.

Assuming your state does not have a more liberal law regarding the grace period to back out of the contract (and that your conditions qualify if so), charging more than the market value is generally NOT a valid reason to unilaterally cancel a contract.

I am assuming both parties have signed and dated the contract - if both parties have not signed it yet, and in at least some states the signed copy has to have also been delivered / provided (having mailed it meets that criteria in most cases) to the other party by the second signnatory, if not signed by both parties at the same time, then you can still cancel or disclaim the contract in writing, because till both parties sign it your signature is really just an offer, not a contract.

Sounds like you need an attorney ASAP since this presumably involves a good several thousand $ or more in potential added cost to you - and no, Angies List does not list/review attorneys.

Depending on what penalty or deposit forfeiture clause the contract has (might be cheaper just to bail out using the contract clause, if any). If there is no such clause, and since you have not paid a deposit, what the contractor could receive in a contract cancellation legal action varies by state and by judge - some will award all the indirect overhead plus planned profit on the job which was included in his bid amount, some just the planned profit in the estimate, some only a nominal fee (commonly several hundred $ to a thousand or so depending on how many subs he got sub-bids from) to compensate the contractor for his lost effort in preparing the contract - others will look at estimates of costs/damages which the contractor submits.

In a very few states the cancellation charge amount is limited by law.

Depending on the circumstances, an attorney might also try to get you off the hook by claiming the contract was "forced" on you or that you did not understand it was a contract, or some similar claim invalidating the contract in its entirety.

He/she would also look at the contract in close detail to make sure it has all the essential elements of a contract and that it included all the disclosures required by law regarding interest rates, cooling-off period (that is a critical one if it was omitted), etc.

Checking contractor compliance with licensing and bonding/insurance laws and regulations could also be a way to get out of the contract if he is in violation of applicable laws.

Whether the contract terms are fiar would also be looked at - for instance a very large cancellation fee before work starts might be held by the courts to be unjust enrichment by the contractor and be cut back for that reason.

One other consideration - obviously you will get out of it cheaper if work has not started at time of cancellation, which would indicate that sending him a cancellation notice as soon as possible would reduce your potential loss. But, since you are probably past the time when you could see an attorney today (especially with it being a holidayfor most people), there is the risk that between now and probably Monday or Tuesday at the earliest when you could talk to an attorney, that the contractor will purchase the materials or deliver some tools and/or materials to the site. That is a common practice among some contractors, especially ones pushing the boundary of the law, so they can say they have "started the job", increasing the credibility of their claims that your cancellation is causing them significnat damage. So, to minimize that situation one should cancel as quickly as possible.

However, that would be an irrevocable action which the attorney might or might not advise you to do, depending on the $ at issue. Legal fees of course can be all over the place, but I would expect a bare minimum of probably $1000 if he finds a simple loophole - probably several thousand minimum and commonly $5,000-10,000 if the contractor puts up a fight, so it might be that cancelling and fighting it would be more expensive than just paying the contract price.

This also does not address the issue of whether the contractor is legit or a storm-chaser scammer, which would affect not only how likely he is to fight a cancellation (scammers tend to avoid legal entanglements, for obvious reasons).

Generally, it would make sense to ask the contractor (if there are no specific cancellation charge terms in the contract) if you can just cancel - you might luck out an have him say OK, or he might come back and say he wants only a few hundred $ to cancel - in which case I would take the chance and sign a contract cancellation document and pay the $. HOWEVER - contacting him about cancelling (assuming there is no specific contract fee set on that) lets him know you want out, and he might come back demanding far more $ than if he were contacted by a lawyer - so you have a very tough call whether or not to broach that subject with him at this time before talking to an attorney. An attorney would almost certainly say don't contact the contractor before talking to the attorney unless cancellation terms in the contract are favorable and acceptable to you, in which case you probably would not need an attorney at all.

Sorry I can't help more, but you are in a sticky wicket situation so there is probably, unless the contractual cancellation fee is small, no easy out - and contracts, once signed, do not have do-over rules.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy