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If I signed a contract with a roofing company and the company has not done any work in 4 months can I legally cancel

Updated November 24, 2020
beige home with shingles on roof
Photo: Mark Herreid/ Adobe Stock

Answered by Rattia: My local roofing company signed a contract with me but he is so backed up it has been six months and he still hasn't done the work, can I cancel contract and go with another roofing company?

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Answered by LCD: Basically, any construction contract should have a performance period spelled out - a start work date is usually appropriate, but at leat a completion date, and should state that time is of the essence to the contract. Then if he does not perform in the specified time (assuming you arenot responsible for any delay) he is in breach of the contract and you can cancel it unless he can show a contractually acceptable reason for the delay - generally force majeure (like hurricane or his business burned down or such major cause beyond his control).

I would contact him and tell him the delay is unacceptabel and you want to cancel, at no cost to you, and get him (and you) to sign and date a contract amendment cancelling the contract and stipulating no contract cost to either party.

Your alternatives if he refuses are to, depending on whether there was a stipulated completion date in the contract (and many contractors, especially the shadier ones, are very careful to NOT let anything into their contracts sothey can drag jobs out to fill their schedule, becsically servicing the squeeky wheels), you could call his Bond to have the bonding company get the job completed per original contract terms by another contractor or to cancel it and refund any deposit.

Of course, you could also sue for breach of contract, especially if there was a stipulated date but generally a court would hold that a roofing job for a house not started in 6 months would be a breach of contract anyway - but suing costs money and you very rarely, in this wacko court system we have, can recover the legal espenses you incur in getting the party breaching a contract (or for most any other suit, for that matter).

Here are links to a couple of previous similar questions which might help too:

https://answers.angi.com/signed-contract-paid-1-2-roofer-I-2-months-rights-cancel-contract-q231538.aspx

https://answers.angi.com/How-I-roofing-contract-signed-materials-selected-work-done-q106579.aspx

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