contractor late and did bad work

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Question

Country: United States of America
State: Minnesota

On 5-17-05 we entered into a signed agreement with an individual to build us a cabinet that would cost between $1200 - $1500. At that time we also gave the person a down payment of $400 to start the project with a completion deadline of 10-1-2005. The cabinet just arrived in our home on 12-10-05 nearly done, but not entirely and over two months beyond the deadline date. The actual cabinet has structure or work quality issues. One being it is 1/2 an inch off of being level, including other things. We have also had to make several purchases out of our own pocket and made several trips to get supplies for this project all of which we expected the person to do for us since we were hiring it done. We made the purchases, etc. in an effort to try to get this project done since the deadline was well over. My questions are: Do we owe him the full amount of the bid or can we deduct for tardiness and expenses that we paid out of our pocket for this project? Our expenses we have paid out of our pocket come to over $550.00 for materials, phone calls and mileage at .42/mile. Therefore we feel we have nearly met the lower bid amount and owe him very little if anything.I await your reply.

Answer

You can deduct and based on what you say here, you could probably file suit against him (or at least threaten to do so) in small claims court or in regular court; filing in small claims court is easier and requires no attorney...you could try to collect all of the costs and damages that you suffered due to his behavior...
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