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Question DetailsAsked on 9/27/2017

Signed Project authorization form for Re-roofing, Can I backout if the work not started on agreed date

There was hail damage to my roof, a roofer came with a friend reference.
I have signed a Project authorization form in the month of April 2017 to work on my home hail damage and do Re-roofing. There are no terms and condition stated in the Form except the work details.
Scheduled a date to take up the work on May 12th.
Roofer demanded initial check three days in advance before starting work.
I denied to give the check in advance as there was no mention about the 3 day advice check.
After laps of three months on August 19, Roofer texted me to setup date for work again.
But, I am not interested to go with him because of his rude communication in between.
I responded him that I would like to discontinue with him.
He is saying “we will need move forward together to avoid any court proceedings.”
I feel like he is threatening me forcibly go with him to take up the work.
Can you please advise, if want to go out and chose some other roofer to take up my work.

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Voted Best Answer

Obviously the phrasing of the contract (and whether is actually has all the required elements to be a legal contract) matters a lot - so you may well be advised to get an attorney to help you out. Also, - communicating with the contractor through an attorney (especially if the contractor is a "storm chaser" or scammer) can let himm know you are serious and not about to take any guff from him.

If you had taken this step immediately after he failed to perform by the promised date (which I am assuming is in writing) your position would have been a lot stonger - and of course at that time you could have given him the choice of do it ASAP or terminate the contract. Sounds like this may have been a typical after-storm case, where even a lot of legit contractors end up booking far more work than they can do in the time promised, and service the squeekyi wheel and let the rest of the job s slide, figuring some will wait and he will lose others.

If the contract (which might be on the back of a quote sheet, on a "standard contract form") did not specify a payment schedule, then generally it would be payment on completion for a short-term job like this (tuypically less than a week from initial materials purchase to completion - usually one-two days on the roof for normal 3000SF or smaller home).

Basically, if there was a performance date and he failed to meet it he is in default on the contract and you would have the right to get another contractor to do the job, or to call his Bond to have them get another contractor to fulfill the contract. Unfortunately, your long delay in taking any action to terminate him (May 12 to August 19th) without complaining, and again (August 19th to today Sept 20) without complaining in writing (unless some of this is in texts or eMail) puts you in a situation where he is offering to start work (assuming his proposed start date is in the immediate future) so he can argue since you evidently did not put importance on the start date up to now and he is now ready to start you could not get a quicker response from another contractor, so that (in his view) you are committed to and stuck with him.

You don't say where the insurance company is on this - are they still prepared to pay the claim, or did they pay you in cash for you to handle on your own - that could affect the outcome too.

So - if his communications with you were nasty and you really do not want to use him at this point even if he were to start tomorrow, I would recommend having an attorney (for probably $150-250 usually ) do a termination letter based on his non-performance under the contract. That leaves you with the possibility he will sue (usually a bluff - unlikely to follow through in most cases like this because he has little or no proveable loss) or to file a lien on your property, though without having done any work he would be on shaky ground there.

If you are committed to not using him, be sure no materials are delivered to your house (refuse delivery on anything that he may try to drop off or have delivered), because allowing him to start on-site work in any way would be implicit acceptance of his services. And of course if going to terminate the contract for non-performance you need to do it ASAP, because if he buys the materials that pouts you on the hookk potentially - not only from him, but if he does not pay the supplier they can also file a lien against your house.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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