If no contract or estimate was provided by contractor am I obligated to pay inflated cost of bathroom remodel. I paid for half the materials.

5 months ago

Under duress I needed to remodel a small bathroom. Less than 300 sq feet. I paid for half the materials. Contractor refused to provide estimate. Or no contract was signed. What am I obligated to pay?

Senior Legal Associate Levelset

I’m sorry to hear about your situation. First – note that in Minnesota, home improvement contracts must be in writing and must contain certain language in order to be valid. So, if work was done to remodel a small bathroom for the owner on a residential project, failure to put the contract to writing might leave a contractor with no recourse to recover payment (i.e. a lawsuit or mechanics lien might not be available for recovering payment).

But, ultimately, payment should be made in accordance with the agreement. If there was no agreement as to what would be paid, no contract for determining how the price would be reached, and no estimate for the work, it will be hard to show that a contractor is overcharging their customer. Whether or not an owner “has” to pay isn’t really a black or white decision, though. Ultimately, an owner will have to weigh the potential risks and decide on what to pay depending on their outlook on the situation.

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