It’s not advisable.
Paying strict attention to terms and conditions in a home building contract puts you in a better light when a dispute lands you in court. As a recent case emphasizes, courts look for intent in “repudiating”, or refusing to honour, a contract (Conwest Contracting Ltd. v Crown and Mountain Creations Ltd., 2021 BCSC 2116).
Both parties were held liable in Conwest: the contractor for stopping work when unanticipated soil conditions and bad weather wracked up extra expenses, and the owner for the way he terminated their contractor.
When the contractor failed to follow the contract requirement to give advance notice of “unanticipated conditions”, the owner declined the bills. He argued the extra costs were fixed into the contract, and the contractor should have absorbed them. Ending the contract, the owner hired someone else to do the job.
The court agreed the contractor had repudiated the contract by quitting work when he wasn’t paid. But the judge found the owner had also fallen down by not following the contract’s terms when he ended it. Since repudiating the contract was unlawful, the owner won that round.
What to do if that happens to you? Read your contract, or ask a real estate lawyer to interpret it, pay the bill, and see your contractor in court.