By David in Salem, OR on 1/14/2006
I have a contract to have a basement dug out. At the bottom of
the dig, the contractor encountered hard clay and mudstone. Both
are breakable, they just require more time.
After hearing of the problem, I hurried out to the job site and
decided to stop the dig about 6 inches short of the intended depth --
thereby saving the contractor a lot of additional time and effort on
However, the contractor says there should be an additional charge
for time in digging out some of this material. Yet, there is no
clause in the contract specifying additional charges for rock, weather,
time, or any other contingencies. The contractor is saying an
additional 6 hours was spent (@ $80/hour).
Also, he notified me of the problem after his employee had already
spent most of this extra time (he claims 6 hours) doing this.
Therefore, it became a "back door" issue.
I don't feel there should be any additional charges for two reasons
(1) I decided to stop the dig ahead of the agreed depth, (2) there was
no verbiage in the contract with regards to rock or any other
I feel I should stick to the contract price. Any contingencies
should have been spelled out or built into the price
already. Also, I feel I have already made the
contractor's life easier by reducing the work time and load.
Am I missing something here?