803 S.W.2d 508 (Ark. 1991), 90-330, Woodhaven Homes, Inc. v. Kennedy Sheet Metal Co.

Docket Nº:90-330.
Citation:803 S.W.2d 508, 304 Ark. 415
Opinion Judge:[15] The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert H. Dudley, Associate Justice.
Party Name:WOODHAVEN HOMES, INC., Appellant, v. KENNEDY SHEET METAL CO., Appellee.
Attorney:[13] Leslie W. Mattingly, for appellant. [14] J.R. Buzbee, for appellee. [304 Ark Page 416]
Case Date:February 04, 1991
Court:Supreme Court of Arkansas
 
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Page 508

803 S.W.2d 508 (Ark. 1991)

304 Ark. 415

WOODHAVEN HOMES, INC., Appellant,

v.

KENNEDY SHEET METAL CO., Appellee.

No. 90-330.

Supreme Court of Arkansas.

February 4, 1991.

Page 509

Lesly W. Mattingly, Jacksonville, for appellant.

J.R. Buzbee, Little Rock, for appellee.

DUDLEY, Justice.

Woodhaven Homes, Inc., the appellant, is a general contractor which contracted with Proffitt Enterprises to build a Bonanza Restaurant in Bentonville. The appellant general contractor entered into a written sub-contract with Kennedy Sheet Metal Company, Inc., the appellee, to perform the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and ventilation work and to supply some of the materials used in the building. The consideration for the sub-contract was $67,403.00. The sub-contract provided that the general contractor could direct the sub-contractor to change or modify its work and that, in such an event, the sub-contractor would submit in writing claims for adjustments in the contract sum. The appellee sub-contractor was licensed as a heating, air-conditioning, and plumbing contractor, but was not licensed as an electrical contractor.

After the appellee sub-contractor started work, the general contractor changed some of the plans. Further changes occurred throughout the construction period. Appellant general contractor did not draw up change orders for many of the changes it requested, and, in addition, after the construction had started, the parties verbally agreed that the sub-contractor would perform the electrical work for an additional consideration of $35,000.00. A written change order was issued for $6,800.00 worth of electrical work. Near the end of the work the appellee sub-contractor submitted

Page 510

to appellant general contractor a bill for "electrical extras" in the amount of $15,535.83. The general contractor refused to pay this amount. The sub-contractor also submitted to the general contractor a bill for "plumbing extras" in the amount of $2,818.70. The general contractor refused to pay for these "extras." The general contractor paid all other amounts due. The sub-contractor then filed suit in circuit court for the "extra" amounts. Upon the motion of the sub-contractor and over the objection of the general contractor, the circuit court transferred the case to chancery court. The Chancellor held in favor of the appellee sub-contractor. The general contractor appeals. We affirm the ruling of the Chancellor.

Prior to 1989 the Contractor's Licensing Statute provided that no action could be brought by an unlicensed contractor to enforce any construction contract. Ark.Code Ann. § 17-22-103(d) (1987). In 1988, we interpreted the statute to mean that an...

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