Louisiana Civil Code

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SECTION 3 - OF CONSTRUCTING BUILDINGS ACCORDING TO PLOTS, AND OTHER WORKS BY THE JOB, AND OF FURNISHING MATERIALS

Art. 2756. To build by a plot, or to work by the job, is to undertake a building or a work for a certain stipulated price.

Art. 2757. A person, who undertakes to make a work, may agree, either to furnish his work and industry alone, or to furnish also the materials necessary for such a work.

Art. 2758. When the undertaker furnishes the materials for the work, if the work be destroyed, in whatever manner it may happen, previous to its being delivered to the owner, the loss shall be sustained by the undertaker, unless the proprietor be in default for not receiving it, though duly notified to do so.

Art. 2759. When the undertaker only furnishes his work and industry, should the thing be destroyed, the undertaker is only liable in case the loss has been occasioned by his fault.

Art. 2760. In the case mentioned in the preceding article, if the thing be destroyed by accident, and not owing to any fault of the undertaker, before the same be delivered, and without the owner be [being] in default for not receiving it, the undertaker shall not be entitled to his salaries, unless the destruction be owing to the badness of the materials used in the building.

Art. 2761. If the work be composed of detached pieces, or made at the rate of so much a measure, the parts may be delivered separately; and that delivery shall be presumed to have taken place, if the proprietor has paid to the undertaker the price due for the parts of the work which have already been completed.

Art. 2762. If a building, which an architect or other workman has undertaken to make by the job, should fall to ruin either in whole or in part, on account of the badness of the workmanship, the architect or undertaker shall bear the loss if the building falls to ruin in the course of ten years, if it be a stone or brick building, and of five years if it be built in wood or with frames filled with bricks.

Art. 2763. When an architect or other workman has undertaken the building of a house by the job, according to a plot agreed on between him and the owner of the ground, he can not claim an increase of the price agreed on, on the plea of the original plot having been changed and extended, unless he can prove that such changes have been made in compliance with the wishes of the owner.

Art. 2764. An exception is made to the above provision, in a case where the alteration or increase is so great, that it can not be supposed to have been made without the knowledge of the owner, and also where the alteration or increase was necessary and has not been foreseen.

Art. 2765. The proprietor has a right to cancel at pleasure the bargain he has made, even in case the work has already been commenced, by paying the undertaker for the expense and labor already incurred, and such damages as the nature of the case may require.

Art. 2766. Contracts for hiring out work are canceled by the death of the workman, architect or undertaker, unless the proprietor should consent that the work should be continued by the heir or heirs of the architect, or by workmen employed for that purpose by the heirs.

Art. 2767. The proprietor is only bound, in the former case, to pay to the heirs of the undertaker the value of the work that has already been done and that of the materials already prepared, proportionably to the price agreed on, in case such work and materials may be useful to him.

Art. 2768. The undertaker is responsible for the acts of the persons employed by him.

Art. 2769. If an undertaker fails to do the work he has contracted to do, or if he does not execute it in the manner and at the time he has agreed to do it, he shall be liable in damages for the losses that may ensue from his non-compliance with his contract.

Art. 2770. Masons, carpenters and other workmen, who have been employed in the construction of a building or other works, undertaken by the job, have their action against the proprietor of the house on which they have worked, only for the sum which may be due by him to the undertaker at the time their action is commenced.

Art. 2771. Masons, carpenters, blacksmiths and all other artificers, who undertake work by the job, are bound by the provisions contained in the present section, for they may be considered as undertakers each in his particular line of business.

Art. 2772. The undertaker has a privilege, for the payment of his labor, on the building or other work, which he may have constructed.

Workmen employed immediately by the owner, in the construction or repair of any building, have the same privilege.

Every mechanic, workman or other person doing or performing any work towards the erection, construction or finishing of any building erected under a contract between the owner and builder or other person, (whether such work shall be performed as journeyman, laborer, cartman, subcontractor or otherwise,) whose demand for work and labor done and performed towards the erection of such building has not been paid and satisfied, may deliver to the owner of such building an attested account of the amount and value of the work and labor thus performed and remaining unpaid; and thereupon, such owner shall retain out of his subsequent payments to the contractor the amount of such work and labor, for the benefit of the person so performing the same.

Whenever any account of labor performed on a building erected under a contract as aforesaid, shall be placed in the hands of the owner or his authorized agent, it shall be his duty to furnish his contractor with a copy of such papers, in order that if there be any disagreement between such contractor and his creditor, they may, by amicable adjustment between themselves or by arbitration, ascertain the true sum due; and if the contractor shall not, within ten days after the receipt of such papers, give the owner written notice that he intends to dispute the claim, or if, in ten days after giving such notice, he shall refuse or neglect to have the matter adjusted as aforesaid, he shall be considered as assenting to the demand, and the owner shall pay the same when it becomes due.

If any such contractor shall dispute the claim of his journeyman or other person for work or labor performed as aforesaid, and if the matter can not be adjusted amicably between themselves, it shall be submitted, on the agreement of both parties, to the arbitrament of three disinterested persons, one to be chosen by each of the parties, and one by the two thus chosen; the decision, in writing, of such three persons, or any two of them, shall be final and conclusive in the case submitted.

Whenever the amount due shall be adjusted and ascertained as above provided, if the contractor shall not, within ten days after it is so adjusted and ascertained, pay the sum due to his creditor with the costs incurred, the owner shall pay the same out of the funds as provided; and the amount due may be recovered from the owner by the creditor of the contractor, and the creditor shall be entitled to the same privileges as the contractor, to whose rights the creditor shall have been subrogated, to the extent in value of any balance due by the owner to his contractor under the contract with him, at the time of the notice first given as aforesaid, or subsequently accruing to such contractor under the same, if such amount shall be less than the sum due from the contractor to his creditor.

All the foregoing provisions shall apply to the person furnishing materials of any kind to be used in the performance of any work or construction of any building, as well as the work done and performed towards such building, by any mechanic or workman; and the proceedings shall be had on the account, duly attested, of such person furnishing materials, and the same liabilities incurred by, and enforced against the contractor or owner of such building, or other person, as those provided for work or labor performed.

If, by collusion or otherwise, the owner of any building erected by contract as aforesaid, shall pay to his contractor any money in advance of the sum due on the contract, and if the amount still due the contractor after such payment has been made, shall be insufficient to satisfy the demand made for work and labor done and performed, or materials furnished, the owner shall be liable to the amount that would have been due at the time of his receiving the account of such work, in the same manner as if no payment had been made.

Art. 2773. Workmen and persons furnishing materials, who have contracted with the undertaker, have no action against the owner who has paid him. If the undertaker be not paid, they may cause the moneys due him to be seized, and they are of right subrogated to his privilege.

Art. 2774. The payments, which the proprietor may have made in anticipation to the undertaker, are considered, with regard to workmen and to those who furnish materials, as not having been made, and do not prevent them from exercising the right granted them by the preceding article.

Art. 2775. No agreement or undertaking for work exceeding five hundred dollars, which has not been reduced to writing, and registered with the recorder of mortgages, shall enjoy the privilege above granted.

Art. 2776. When the agreement does not exceed five hundred dollars, it is not required to be reduced to writing, but the statement of the claim must be recorded, in the manner required by law, to preserve the privilege.

Art. 2777. Workmen employed in the construction or repair of ships and boats, enjoy the privilege established above, without being bound to reduce their contracts to writing, whatever may be their amount, provided the statement of the claim is recorded in the manner required by law; but this privilege ceases, if they have allowed the ship or boat to depart, without exercising their right.