Despite us having a signed contract, our contractor, Tim Austin, has come back to us and told us he is going to have to increase the contract price. Apparently he didn't realize how much the permits were going to cost (or how difficult they would be to get), and he never bothered to price the roofing before the quote and used his "standard" roofing price which is about a quarter of what our actual roofing costs. I told him up front it was expensive roofing.
And, when he realized the cost of the garage was going to need to be increased, did he let us know? No!! He just went ahead and pulled the permit!! I'm very upset about this.
So now if we decide we can't afford the new higher price, and need to delay the building, the permit will just expire and we'll have to pay again to reopen it. We put down a deposit on this project of half the total and he'll surely deduct the revised permit cost before refunding the remainder even though we wouldn't have pulled the permit had we known how much the revised total for the project was going to be.
Update on Monday: So we worked out a compromise with Tim. He's a really nice guy but obviously a little inexperienced. We're going to go ahead and let him build the garage. He guaranteed in writing there would be no additional cost increases. We're going to pay him more for the permit and he's going to come down on many of his labor items, basically equivalent to "eating" the expense for the roofing. Because his "profit" on this job was pretty small in the first place, we're going to go ahead and hire him for more of the work we were going to do ourselves, i.e. painting, etc. It's not a perfect compromise, but at least we'll get our garage.
I really don't want to sue him; I just want the project finished.