How much can a contractor raise their bid after completing a project?

UPDATED: Aug 14, 2011

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How much can a contractor raise their bid after completing a project?

A contractor quoted me $500-$1000 to do some electrical work. I said get started. Then sent me a bill for $4200, never once mentioned to me it was going to be more. Then took me to court and won, judge sided with him because he had a invoice.

Asked on August 14, 2011 California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In California, licensed contractors are required to submit a written contract setting forth the specific amount of the work of improvement as well as the contractor's license number and reference to California's State Contractor's Licensing Board in Sacramento, California when the work of improvement exceeds $500.00.

The contractor cannot legally send you an bill for $4,200.00 when you never were submitted the required contract to sign. If you have time to appeal the award, assuming it was a small claims court award, you should do so. The specific code sections to assist you are in California's Business & Professions Code around section 17200.

You might consider contacting the California State Liecensing Board  In Sacramento, California about the contractor who charged you $4,200.00 without a written contract signed by you and make a complaint against him or her.

As to the award against you, I suspect the "judge" was some attorney acting as a judge "pro tem" who really does not understand California law regarding requirements of written contracts by licensed contractors signed by their customers.


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