Is contractor required to provide detailed invoicing once the job is completed?

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Posted by: from Edmonton
6/26/2014 at 10:16:29 PM

I hired a contractor to build a deck. He quoted a certain price and the project proceeded. The project scope changed as things proceeded (reduced the size of deck), however overall the project was completed with minimal issues. The decking used does have a 25 year warranty (Timbertech).

When he provided me with his invoice it was one line stating "Build new deck (labour and material* as per quote)" I requested a more detailed breakdown of costs plus invoices for the decking materials so that I would have these for any future warranty needs. He became very offended and said he would not provide this as the price was as per his original quote (minus an amount for the reduced deck size). He said I would have to deal with the store where he bought the decking to obtain detailed invoices for the decking.

Is he required in any way to provide me with additional detail or am I out of luck and on my own to go to the decking material store?

While I am mainly concerned that I have the manufacturers invoicing for warranty requirements, I am now a little uncertain as to why he would be so offended.

Is it not a fair request to know how much you paid for materials and labour?

I know I should have had a more detailed "contract" up front, however this contractor is well respected in our small town and we have had him do other work in the past. I was not challenging him on the price, but now I have to truly wonder.

Any advice or am I out to lunch?

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Date/Time6/26/2014 at 11:25:07 PM

Whether it is fair or not, or if he needs to produce the invoices depends on how your contract with him reads.

There are a couple different ways your contract with him may have been set-up. Either it was a quote for the job, including materials and labour (all-in), or it was T&M (time and material). It sounds to me like it was a flat price, whereby the entire project was quoted, he did the work, and that's-that. Regardless, if a client asks to see the invoices, he should be able to produce them for you, without too much concern. All parties involved realize the contractor is charging more then the material and labour costs, otherwise he won't last long in business. So the fact remains, that, unless he picked up the materials from some guy in the building supply store parking lot after hours, or charged way too much for the project, he should provide you with the invoices.

What I find most particular about this, is that this is all because you wanted the warranty for the materials. Is the contractor not warrantying his workmanship, and thereby since he was the one who purchased the materials, and has the receipts (hopefully) the materials are then warrantied, through him.

Bottom line is, if it was a quoted job, he doesn't need to show you the receipts.

Probably not the answer you were hoping for.

Olaf, Master Builder

"Authentic Craftsmanship leads to Exceptional Results"

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Date/Time6/26/2014 at 11:34:51 PM

We are discussing a material list and receipts that have a great deal to do with the warranty on your decking,

When we build a deck, copies of the receipts for materials are provided to the home owner for warranty purposes.

Hope this Helps,

James Fram

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Date/Time6/27/2014 at 4:01:32 PM

You must differentiate warranty on material and warranty on labor. Contractor can only warranty his workmanship not the material. If You requested specific material and he used that material, ask him to give you receipts of the material and hold on to that for future reference.

You sad yourself that he is a good and respected contractor, then ask yourself, are you being little harsh on him or is there something personal?

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Jerry in Edmonton
Date/Time6/27/2014 at 6:22:18 PM

Thanks to those who have responded. I appreciate the comments.

I would like to state that I have (had?) no beefs with the contractor, in fact I hired him because he is a decent, respected local person and someone who I have trusted with work before. I am wanting invoicing for the decking materials (warranty is on deck material - not on the labour). The decking material was purchased by him through Windsor Plywood, after I had chosen the type, colour, etc. I have not seen any invoicing for this material and when I asked him for this he indicated I would have to talk with Windsor Plywood as his invoicing includes materials for other jobs, etc. I am truly not trying to be hard on the contractor, but rather just looking for advice as to whether I insist on receiving this from him or do I try to get this information through the lumber store.

PS - I was also hoping to receive a more detailed invoice breaking out labour and materials, however based on comments, I think I am out of luck as I guess the "estimate" he gave me to do the job is, in fact, a quote and thus, he is not obligated to do so. Unfortunate, but I guess a lesson learned for future work.


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Date/Time6/27/2014 at 7:00:00 PM

Jerry not many contractors want to give an invoice that breaks down the labor and material separately. I've had this conversation with more than a few customers. From my experience customers look at the labor cost and try to bargain you down.

For example I had one customer say to me that he had priced out the material for a job and he thought I was charging to much for labor. When I told him that I had to make a pay check and the company had to make a profit (tools, truck, trailer, ins. repairs) and so on he said to me well it's not like you are a big company like Microsoft or something. I was dumfounded by that comment. So I said to him give me the name of the company you work for and your bosses name, and he ask me why. I said I will call him tomorrow and tell him that you really don't need your whole pay check because I think you are getting paid to much for what you do. He was not impressed.

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Date/Time6/28/2014 at 1:22:13 AM

Hi Jerry,

When a contractor supplies and installs a product that carries a manufacturer's warranty, product details should be clearly written on the quote, estimate or final invoice. Also the amount of materials and any accessory products that carry a warranty should also be detailed. In the event you do have to start a warranty claim, a manufacturer may require a copy of your invoice for proof of purchase.

If you selected the product and your sure the product installed is what you selected, then I would suggest you check that manufacturers warranty. Timbertech does have a registration process online, where you would tell them the details of the project, including the supplier and installer's name.

I hope that helps and it should never be an unreasonable request to have more product details on the final invoice. Although I would say that breaking down the cost of materials and labour on an invoice is not something most contractors would do. The true cost of any project is the material and labour, plus overhead, and I don't know any company in any industry that would divulge their cost. And that can be said for any company in any industry, profit margin is a necessity to stay in business.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.



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