Legal Question in Construction Law in Pennsylvania

I live in pa. I'm a mason contractor and had a proposal signed is it a legal contract. And now that it's signed can the homeowner back out and hire someone else

Asked on 2/17/13, 8:22 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

J. Norman Stark J. Norman Stark , Attorney, Architect

Dear Subcontractor: I'm not admitted in PA, however, the laws of contracts, are very similar in sister states, such as Ohio, where I'm located and licensed to practice law. I cannot provide you with legal advice, however, here are some experienced thoughts from more than 35 years of prctice in law and construction cases:

A signed and accepted proposal is a contract. While you could sue for specific performance, that is, to compel the customer to use your services, but, that foreceful approach is not recommended to bring favor upon you or your business reputation.

You may wish to contact the customer and politely inquire why he or she chose someone else? Was it price, reputation, availability, or what? Use this opportunity as a learning tool, to improve your customer relations and go on to bigger and better projects. Also use this opportunity to sharpen your proposals and contract forms, to "lock in" customers, perhaps including the requirement of a partial down payment on jobs before you even order materials and mortar, or set up your mixer and scaffolding.

Good luck and God Bless. Sincerely, J. Norman Stark, Cleveland, Ohio

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Answered on 2/17/13, 9:18 am

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