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How do I not pay the GC for repairs that were unauthorized

TexasLien Waivers

I hired a GC and we had a set agreement for for items, I left them in house that was empty to complete the work, after work I would stop by and inspect the repairs, which were painting, cabinets and sink tops and two toilets. I started noticing that other things were happening behind my back, like he painted all of the doors, not agreed upon, painted the garage after I told him that I was doing it and he used my paint to paint the doors, painted the ceilings etc. at the end he ask for more money and it was a lot. I told him I was not paying him for items that he chose to do on his own, and of course here we go. So I agreed to pay half to balance and for him to take a loss due to him completing items that were not agreed upon. So know I have at another house , this time I put it all in writing three items approved and a list of a few maintenance items that I asked for prices only, and he did it again. This time I am holding my ground and only paying for the items listed in my text message. I mentioned to him that he was stealing from me and forcing my hand to pay him on things that he chose to do. Dang I am stuck but before I pay him I wanted a wavier to protect myself and not sure which to used. Thanks Diane

1 reply

Oct 11, 2021

Hi Diane,

There is a lot I could say here. Fundamentaly, the approach you should take here depends on the amount of money at issue. You likely have several legal defenses, and perhaps even claims, based upon this contractor's actions as stated. But litigation is expensive, and therefore, as you probably discovered on the first project with this contract, it may be easier to just work it out and move on.

As far as releases go, there are statutory lien release forms available online that you can fill out and provide to your contractor to complete. Of course it would probably be best to have an attorney review the situation and the release before it is used to make sure that you are protected to the greatest extent possible. If the contractor has been paid for all agreed upon work, he is legally required to provide you a lien release. A lien release is effectivley the only document that can prevent/extinguish a lien from being filed on your home without court intervention, so it is a very important document. 

Very best,

Ben House



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