Legal Question in Construction Law in Indiana

Recently I had a garage built on my property, and I received a proposal for what was to be done in this construction and a total amount for labor & materials. At the bottom of the proposal was some writing saying any unforeseen obstacles are time and material after discussion with management. When the work began I was in the hospital and they contacted me about having to move the building a couple feet away from where we had originally agreed because of a tree, and in doing so would have to go ahead and rip up a existing sidewalk that was on my property. I was in the hospital for a week while construction went on, and then was home a week before I went on vacation with the family. When I arrived home from the hospital I noticed they had not only moved the building which I gave my permission as per our discussion on the phone but they raised it up a lot higher than was originally planned, the floor of the building was to have 4" of concrete and the finish height was to be even with the sidewalk that was existing on my property. The morning I was leaving for vacation and they had just the siding, doors and windows left to install I was told that I was being charged a additional $1080 because it took more dirt and rock to raise the building to it's current height. I was very perturbed about being notified so late and no discussion about this, especially since I had a discussion to have them do some extra work, and they gave me a quote and I accepted that also and paid them for the garage and the extra work by check. The final check for the garage said in the memo final payment in full and the check for the extra work said in the memo final payment in full for extra work. My question am I obligated to pay the other amount, since no discussion with management? And if they accept a check with final payment in full for their work?

Thank you,

Will Sampson

Asked on 11/08/11, 4:17 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

terrence rubino rubino ruman crosmer smith and sersic


i missed the "the other amount" reference in the second to last sentence. however, it sounds as though the other amount is for ripping up the sidewalk? it doesn't really matter though. the bottom line is that the last thing you want to do is get involved with having to hire a lawyer and being in litigation especially when the amount in controversey is not significant. i am not suggesting that you be their walking mat but you ought to pay them for what they did. they may not have communicated things the best way but if you don't pay them for something they actually did they will file a mechanics lien. eventually they will have a collection lawyer sue on the mechanics lien and then you have a real mess on your hands even if you are eventually judged to be right. if possible,you want to go through life without having to be the customer of a lawyer, doctor or policeman.

if this is eating at you so bad that you feel you must push the issue, then contact a reputable lawyer in your area. most consultations are free. word of mouth is the best source to find a lawyer. billboards and telephone book ads are not always a great source.

good luck and enjoy your new garage!

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Answered on 11/08/11, 6:08 am

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