Should I pay for shoddy work if there was no contract?
Question Details: Verbal agreement to install hardwood flooring and baseboards in my home. The work was never completed and a bill was submitted with many omissions and errors. Should I pay it? Can I attach my own adjustment sheet and pay that amount?
First, there was a contract: an oral or unwritten one ("oral," not "verbal," is the correct term). That was the agreement for him to do work and for you to pay him. If he did not complete all work, you'd only have to pay him for the work actually done; and if some work was completed, but not to commercially acceptable standards, you would not have to pay for it, either--you must pay only for the work that was completed to commercially reasonable or acceptable (even if not perfect or ideal) standards.
That's the law. Practically, if you don't pay him everything he's requesting, he will likely try to take legal action. That is not to say you have to pay him what he wants, but 1) it is often better to try to negotiate some payment, given the amount and quality of work done, which you can both live with and agree to and pay that, to avoid litigation (if you do this, get the agreement in writing *before* paying); and 2) if can't or don't want to work it out with him, just prepare yourself mentally/emotionally for the likelihood of litigation.