Unsigned contract

Asked over 5 years ago - Bend, OR

I was offered to do a remodel job. It was approx 160 hours of work for a set price. The home owner who asked me to do this drew up a contract. And we both made changes and it was finally agreed upon. I should add that he lived approx 5 hours away so we did it all thru email which I have all of. The day came for me to start the job and he said he changed his mind and was not going to be doing it. I turned down two other jobs and worked overtime on another so I would be available on the day agreed on. Can the contract that he drew up still be legally binding even though its not signed because of the distance ? He even sent me an email saying he would be paying for all my gas two days prior to starting for picking up supplies etc.. I`m some what mad because I passed up the other jobs

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Dean Anthony Siedlecki

    Contributor Level 6

    Answered . IImder gemeral contract law, with an "unsigned" contract for home remodeling, the basic question is, whether there was a meeting of minds as to the essence of the agreement, that a reasonable person would believe that the essential terms of price and performance had been agreed upon. The fact that you both agreed upon changes that the owner had drew up, seems to indicate that there was an agreement. The fact that the contract was not formally "signed", may be countered by the fact that there were "pen and ink" changes. Also, the fact that he agreed to pay your gas expense to get to his propoerty, futhers your argument.

    I would consult a local attorney in your jurisdicton, who can review your document and knows the local rules about home improvement contract requirements.

    As an aside, you should always get a security deposit, that would cover your time not doing work on a job you can not do because of the work you schedule to do. In other word, your should set a deposit equal to or greater than your lost opportunity costs.

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