Deciding to have any work done on your home is a big deal. Home improvements aren’t cheap. Especially if you plan on paying builders to do the work for you. That is why signing the contract on an agreed price for the work is a fairly big deal.
Once you and your contractor agree on a price and sign a contract, you can really start to plan. When you know how much money the work will cost, you can adjust your budget to absorb the cost and plan the payment.
So, it can be quite jarring if your contractor suddenly requests more money after the contract has been signed. In this guide, we’re taking a deeper look at what to do if your contractor asks for more money after signing the contract.
Read on to find out more. Essentially, whether, or not, a contractor can request more money after signing depends on the contract itself.
Some contracts will come with a clause that allows the contractor to adjust the price. That is why it is very important to read the small print!
Can A Contractor Ask For More Money After Signing?
As we have said, yes, it is possible for contractors to request more money after the contract has been signed. Whether, or not, your contractor will be able to do this to you will ultimately depend on the terms of your contract.
That is why it is very important to take care when signing a contract. Most contractors are aware that the price of materials change frequently. This means that the cost of completing the work on your home can also fluctuate from day to day.
To protect themselves, some contractors will add a clause to the contract that allows them to change the agreed price. So, if circumstances change, they can increase the price.
Most contractors will be very open about this clause, and they won’t try to hide it from you. However, there are some contractors that won’t make you aware of this clause.
That is why it is important to protect yourself by reading the entire contract before you sign it. If the contract does not come with a clause that allows the price change then the price won’t change.
However, if you have signed a contract that allows the contractor to change the price, you are stuck. You can either pay the difference for the new cost or renegotiate to try to lower the price.
Why Might A Contractor Request More Money?
Now that we have established that a contractor can ask for more money, let’s examine why they might do this. Contractors will only ask for more money when necessary, and if a need arises.
One reason why a contractor may request more money is if the job became bigger than budgeted for. For example, fitting a toilet turned into re-plumbing a bathroom due to plumbing issues.
This would increase the amount of work and time needed for the project. So, your contractor might increase the price. Another reason why a contractor might increase the cost of the work is if they have gone above and beyond.
If a contractor has worked long hours to get something perfect, they may charge more. Likewise, if a contractor has worked hard to get the job done in a shorter period, they may charge more.
As we have said, most of the time, the price will not change after a contract is signed. However, if there is a clause allowing this, your contractor might charge more.
What To Do If A Builder Asks for More Money?
If your contractor requests more money after the job is done, you might be shocked. Before the work started, you had agreed on a price, so it can be daunting to see this price change.
If this happens, you might find yourself unsure about what to do. If your contractor suddenly increases the price, you should ask them “why?”. Finding out the reason why they have increased the cost will make the situation a lot easier.
If your contractor has increased the price due to speed, you might be happy to pay them more. But if your contractor can’t explain why they have increased the price, you might be uncertain.
Your contractor should be able to explain why the cost has gone up. If you are unhappy with the price increase, speak to your contractor about it. Explain your perspective and they may revert to the original price.
But ultimately, if the contract allows them to change the cost, you will have to pay the difference. You have signed a contract that acknowledges the potential of this. So, you will need to honor the contract you signed.
Can A Builder Charge More Than A Quote?
It is important to note that there is a difference between charging more than a quote, and more than a contract. A builder’s quote is basically just a rough estimate of how much the work will cost.
Whereas a contract confirms the cost of the work. Quotes will change from day to day. This is because the cost of materials fluctuates daily, so builders will quote more, or less, in line with this.
Once you are given a quote, you will need to sign a contract quickly if you want the work completed at that cost. If you wait a little while, then the quote will likely increase. So, yes, builders absolutely can charge more than a quote.
When they give you a quote, they are not promising you anything. So, until you sign a contract confirming that quote, nothing is a done deal.
But once you sign a contract, they will need to honor that price unless a clause allows them to change it.
In short, your contractor can increase the cost after a contract is signed. Some contracts come with clauses that allow the price to change.
So, before you sign the contract it is very important to check the small print for this clause. Thanks for reading!