Q: Can a contractor alter the terms of a contract for a septic system because the equipment he has won't work?
The contractor already accepted the money from the manufactured home company where we got the loan through to do the work on the septic system. Now he says because his mini excavator cannot penetrate The Rock underneath the dirt that we're going to have to spend an extra $2000 to put in an anaerobic system instead of the regular system that was agreed upon. Can he do this and can I tell him that he will rent whatever equipment he needs to finish the job that he's already been paid for without charging me extra.
A: That depends on the wording of your contract with the contractor and what it says about subsurface soil conditions and the allocation of risks. You should take your written contract to an experienced construction law attorney for a consultation. If the contract is not overly long, you should be able to get an initial consultation for $500 or so. After reviewing your contract, the lawyer will let you know if the language is clear enough to render an opinion or if additional information and research is necessary to determine the answer to your question based on your particular situation.
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