I recently had a commercial property renovated by a contractor that I personally knew. He gave me a paper titled "Summary of quotations for rental area" followed by a few line items and a total that read "Total estimated cost ready to move in" and assured me that it would be that amount or cheaper.
At the end of the job he sent me invoices that amounted to an additional $7000. Although a few extras were performed, many which seem outrageous such as 8 hours to install an access panel and 3 hours to assist our electrician to move a thermostat 15 feet (the building is a drop ceiling) and most that were never mentioned prior to completion, these amount to $2000 at his count.
He is now telling us that his quote was really just an estimate and only included materials except for the subtrades listed. There is no mention of this anywhere on our outline or his hourly rate should the work have been a time and material job. We've never seen or signed a single time sheet.
We refused to pay the last $5000 and he is now taking us to small claims court.
Can someone please tell me where I could find some backing for what industry standards would be if the job was truly meant to be time and material. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
There is no "industry standards" when it comes to contracts. Every body has different contracts and ways of doing business. We all try to base our jobs (quotes/estimates) on time and material, even if a fixed price is given. If things change or something comes up that was not expected, who pays for it? Your best option and cheaper for everybody is to try and work it out with your contractor, if not contact a lawyer.
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