Dilemma With Neighbor and Home Repair...help!
We recently purchased (this past July) a home built in 1854. It is renovated, but being an old house we knew there would still be repairs. A neighbor of ours told us he could do handyman work, etc. if we ever needed him. Our house is a 2 story antebellum, so it is quite tall. We don't yet have a ladder tall enough to reach the gutters in the front of the house. So we offered to pay him to clean the gutters for us (just in the front). After he cleaned them, he told us the gutter had separated from the roof and that had caused the eave to rot due to water. He told us the entire eave on the left side would need replaced. We want to be historically accurate with this house, so we knew we needed poplar. We ordered the poplar. He told us he would need a scaffold, as his ladder would not be safe for this type of repair. We agreed and paid to rent some scaffolding. This cost about $300 for the poplar and scaffold. He quoted us a price of $700 to take down the rotten eave and paint and put up the new one. This seemed fair so we agreed. Well, yesterday he gets up the scaffold and after about an hour, comes back down. He then tells us he was wrong. The eave is just fine, it's just the gutter wasn't installed correctly and had pulled away from the roof. He fixed the gutter. He now demands we pay him $700. Not only are we out the $300 for poplar and scaffold we didn't need (he could have fixed the gutter with the ladder), he now wants to be paid for something he didn't have to do. I thought he had gone up the ladder and personally inspected the eave and found it rotten. What he had actually done was assumed the eave was rotten since the gutter had pulled away. Is paying him the $700 fair? Am I being unreasonable to think he should only be paid for fixing the gutter?? I would hate for this to cause friction between us as neighbors, but should I pay $700 just to avoid tension?
Thank you so much!