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Question DetailsAsked on 1/7/2014

My contractor does not want to give me the receipts for kitchen cabinets he ordered. Can he keep them from me?

My contractor ordered the cabinets from Wellborn supposedly in the month of August, and we paid him for them at that time. We then had two separate 4-week delays that he blamed on Wellborn, so we didn't receive them until November. We have asked repeatedly for the receipts, but he has stated that he ordered them personally, and there is no need for us to have the receipts since we will have to go through him if there is any issues with them. I'm not comfortable with paying him that much money and not having the order or receipts for the cabinets. Can he deny me the receipts?

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3 Answers


If you contracted for a materials and installed job not just a labor only job the receipts are actually his. It depends on how the contract was worded. If he wants to give you the receipts with the prices blacked out it would be a nice idea or some form of proof as to when the cabinets were purchased and installed as this may be needed for any problems that come up in the future. Who knows if he will be around. Some of the cabinets I install have a lifetime warrantee. Case in point a repair that I have to do in a few weeks that if the homeowner had either a contract stating the date and model installed they could have gotten the cabinets for free. I can do repairs under warrantee for any cabinets if I have the paperwork. He may not want you to see what he paid and what his mark up is, which is fine since you came to an agreement on the job price.

The thing that bothers me is the length of time for the cabinets to come in. I get custom cabinets faster than that. In my state (New Jersey) there must be a starting and completion date on all contracts. I do business a bit differently in that I do not make any money on the cabinets, counters, sink and appliances and just make my money on the install and related work. I have a supplier that I use and built the showrooms for and I take the customer or send them there and they pay for the cabinets and counters directly. Hey it works for me!

If he does not give you them the contract should spell out all that may need documents for future needs.

Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


+1 to Don's feedback.

If the job was time and materials, no. If it was sold as an installed job, he owns the materials and documentation.

Answered 6 years ago by WoWHomeSolutions


I am going to disagree with the other commenters - not with respect to what contractors usually do, but with respect to what they SHOULD do. Most contractors fail to provide the purchase and warranty information and instruction booklets to the homeowner unless asked for them - generally just because they forget, but sometimes because they do not want the owner to see the markup on the bought items, and sometimes because they are trying to ensure any return business comes to them.

Under standard contracting conditions and the Uniform Commercial Code, which controls general business contract law, the property owner (assuming he has paid bills properly and so forth) is entitled to the originals of all ownership documents, warranties (including contractor certifications and signatures necessary to validate them), and proof of purchases that may be needed to make claims under warranties. The contractor is certainly free to keep a copy for his records, and of course once turned over the homeonwer is responsible for keeping the records safe for future use.

The homeowner should also ensure that he receives lien releases on all subcontracts and materials vendors, to protect against future liens popping up if the contractor failed to pay his vendors or subcontractors.

If he is refusing to give you the warranty related information (includding installation certificate and purchase receipt, as applicable) I would not feel comfortable, not only because you do not know that he will be around in the future to handle warranty items, but you do not want to be under his thumb with respect to who you uyse in the event of a manufacturer warranty issue,, plus at this point unless you have a lien realease you do not even know the cabients were acctuyally paid for ! I think you are in the right, and you should act stringly to protect your interests - if not by getting receipts from him, then maybe duplicate receipts straight from the manufacturer naming your address as the installed job site, with duplicate copy of warranty, if it does not REQUIRE a contractor certification of installation for the warranty to be valid.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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