Q&A: What is the Difference Between a Material and Non-Material Breach of Contract?

What is the difference between a material and a non-material breach of contract?

From a legal perspective, whenever a homeowner wants to bring suit against a contractor, we have to make sure that the breach that the homeowner contends is at least a material breach. Meaning that a judge or a jury would find that the failure is significant enough to call the contract breached or terminated. So, an example would be, if I hired a concrete contractor to pour a driveway and he broom swept the finish but I wanted it to be in circular motions not straight broom marks. The homeowner would have a hard time contending that that’s a material breach of the contract. Unless, there are specific discussions, or specific items in the contract, that talk about why you want the circular motions and how that will aesthetically affect your property and why that’s of value.

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