What can I do if my builder is demanding more money even though we have a firm price contract agreement?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can I do if my builder is demanding more money even though we have a firm price contract agreement?

I an building a home and have original fixed price contract agreement with the builder. The builder has completed 80% of the work but now has stopped

work demanding 6% extra payment for

Asked on October 15, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) He can only demand additional costs for "increase in material and labor costs" if the contract specifically stated he could get these (e.g. there was some clause in one way or another indicating that he could pass along increases).
2) If you pay under duress, it will be difficult to recover the money later; your payment may be taken to indicate approval of or consent to the costs.
3) You could, if you believe that the increase is unjustified and the builder delays the work or refuses to the work, bring a legal action for "specific performance"--a type of lawsuit in which you seek a court order compelling him to perfrom as the per the contract and finish the work. Such a legal action is more complex than, say, a small claims case, and you really should retain an attorney to bring one, rather than trying to handle it yourself--but you would then need to balance or weigh the cost of the litigation vs. the additional cost the builder seeks, to see if it's worthwhile litigating.
4) The language from the contract you quote, assuming it is in the contract, could be used to justify the increase, if the builder can substantiate the increases he has faced.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption