When is this considered a "breach of contract"? See detials for window company delaying on installation.
Is this a breach of contract?
2 attorney answers
This is a sale of goods, so is governed by the Uniform Commercial Code (the "UCC"), as adopted by North Carolina (N.C. Gen. Stat. 25-5-101, et seq.). As a general rule under the UCC, if the parties haven't agreed otherwise, they have a "reasonable time" to perform:
§ 25-2-309. Absence of specific time provisions; notice of termination.
(1) The time for shipment or delivery or any other action under a contract if not provided in this article or agreed upon shall be a reasonable time.
(2) Where the contract provides for successive performances but is indefinite in duration it is valid for a reasonable time but unless otherwise agreed may be terminated at any time by either party.
(3) Termination of a contract by one party except on the happening of an agreed event requires that reasonable notification be received by the other party and an agreement dispensing with notification is invalid if its operation would be unconscionable. (1965, c. 700, s. 1.)
Here, the contract lays out a general time frame (about 6-8 weeks), and so that should be considered the reasonable time period. In my view, the additional two weeks they've told you probably constitutes the limit of what's reasonable. However, there is ambiguity introduced by the fact that the contract says "on or about."
Regardless, as the buyer in this case, you can demand assurances:
§ 25-2-609. Right to adequate assurance of performance.
(1) A contract for sale imposes an obligation on each party that the other's expectation of receiving due performance will not be impaired. When reasonable grounds for insecurity arise with respect to the performance of either party the other may in writing demand adequate assurance of due performance and until he receives such assurance may if commercially reasonable suspend any performance for which he has not already received the agreed return.
(2) Between merchants the reasonableness of grounds for insecurity and the adequacy of any assurance offered shall be determined according to commercial standards.
(3) Acceptance of any improper delivery or payment does not prejudice the aggrieved party's right to demand adequate assurance of future performance.
(4) After receipt of a justified demand failure to provide within a reasonable time not exceeding thirty days such assurance of due performance as is adequate under the circumstances of the particular case is a repudiation of the contract. (1965, c. 700, s. 1.)
The time that has gone by already is "reasonable grounds for insecurity." You can therefore make written demand for assurances. The vendor will then have no more than thirty days (I think two weeks would be reasonable in your case, but thirty days is the outside limit) to adequately assure you of compliance. If they don't, you can consider the contract breached.
I am not your lawyer unless you hire me, sign an agreement, and pay my fee. This answer is not legal advice--it is just an attempt to point you towards the resources you need.
Unless there is a time of the essence clause you are not there yet