Argued: April 8, 2014.
Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court entered May 10, 2013 at No. 1235 WDA 2012, reversing the Order the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County entered July 10, 2012 at No. 2011-2775 and remanding. Trial Court Judge: Debbie O'Deil Seneca; Intermediate Court Mary Jane Bowes, Christine Donohue, Sallie Mundy, Judges.
For Raymond Mantia and Donna Mantia, Appellant: Patrick Ryan Grimm, Esq., Douglas R. Nolin, Esq., Peacock, Keller & Ecker, L.L.P.
For Shafer electric & Construction, Appellee: Lynn R. Emerson, Esq., Business Legal, P.C.
JUDGES: BEFORE: MR. JUSTICE BAER. CASTILLE, C.J., SAYLOR, EAKIN, BAER, TODD, McCAFFERY, STEVENS, JJ. Mr. Chief Justice Castille, Messrs. Justice Saylor and Eakin, Madame Justice Todd and Messrs. Justice McCaffery and Stevens join the opinion.
MR. BAER, JUSTICE.
We granted allowance of appeal in this matter to determine whether the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, 73 P.S. § § 517.1-517.18 (the Act), bars a contractor from recovery under a theory of quantum meruit in the absence of a valid and enforceable home improvement contract as defined by the Act. The Superior Court held that the Act does not bar a
cause of action sounding in quantum meruit and, for the reasons that follow, we affirm that decision albeit on slightly different grounds.
The facts of the instant appeal are not in dispute. In August, 2010, Appellants, Raymond and Donna Mantia, residents of Avella, Washington County, engaged Appellee, Shafer Electric & Construction, a registered West Virginia contractor, to build a 34 foot by 24 foot, two-car garage addition onto their house. The initial proposal by Appellee, found at Reproduced Record (R.R.) 24a, was extremely detailed in the work to be completed, including the dimensions of the addition, type of roof to be installed, size of skylights to be placed in the roof, and brand and type of soffit/fascia to be used. An addendum to the initial proposal, found at R.R. 25a, further elaborated upon details, specifications, and upgrades to portions of the project. Between the two proposals, Appellee agreed to furnish materials and labor in consideration of $102,000.00.
The proposals, however, did not comply with several requirements of Section 517.7 of the Act. Specifically, pursuant to the Act, any home improvement contract, in order to be valid and enforceable against the owner of real property, must be legible, in writing, and contain thirteen other specific requirements. See 73 P.S. § 517.7(a). Despite the detail in the specifications
for the work to be completed, the contract only complied with subsections (5), (7), and (8) of Section 517.7(a). For example, the contract did not contain approximate start and completion dates as provided by subsection (a)(6), nor did it inform Appellants of the toll-free, consumer protection hotline number pursuant to subsection (a)(12).
Notwithstanding these deficiencies, work on the project began in October, 2010, when Appellants, who owned their own excavation business, began the foundation excavation. When Appellee commenced construction of the addition, however, it contended that problems surfaced because of Appellants' failure to complete the excavation work properly. During the subsequent months, Appellants eventually re-excavated the foundation area for the addition and, in the process (according to Appellee), changed the design of the addition several times. Negotiations into these design changes and other necessary alterations as a result of the excavation problems occurred, but ultimately failed when Appellants apparently refused to enter into a new contract with Appellee. Upon the breakdown of the negotiations, the parties mutually agreed that Appellee would invoice Appellants for the work completed, and that Appellee ...