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Window World of Omaha v. Kopiasz

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 8, 2017

WINDOW WORLD OF OMAHA, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JASON KOPIASZ and JUNE KOPIASZ, Defendants-Appellees.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Shelby County, Susan Christensen, Judge.

         A contractor appeals the district court judgment finding the contractor breached the terms of a contract and awarding the homeowners damages.

          Michael J. Riley and Bryan D. Swain of Salvo, Deren, Schenck, Gross, Swain & Argotsinger, P.C., Harlan, for appellant.

          Kyle J. McGinn of McGinn, Springer & Noethe P.L.C., Council Bluffs, for appellees.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.

          VOGEL, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         Window World of Omaha sued Jason and June Kopiasz for unpaid balances on contracts entered into to replace windows, siding, soffit, fascia, and gutters and downspouts on the Kopiaszes' home. The Kopiaszes counterclaimed for damages, alleging Window World had breached the contracts. The district court held Window World breached the contracts and awarded damages, in part, to the Kopiaszes. Window World asserts the district court erred in holding it breached the contracts with the Kopiaszes or, alternatively, the district court incorrectly calculated damages.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         The Kopiaszes contacted Window World in 2011 after receiving hail damage to the siding of their home. A sales manager for Window World, toured the home and suggested the windows be replaced prior to any work on the siding. On November 16, 2011, the Kopiaszes entered into a contract to replace the windows on their home for $5500. The Kopiaszes paid $2750 upon signing the contract. The second half of the payment, $2750, which due upon completion of the project on March 7, 2012, was withheld by the Kopiaszes because they were dissatisfied with the work. Initially, the crank arms fell off of the window when the windows were opened; subsequently, most of the windows did not seal, and when the windows were closed and locked, the window and the gasket did not meet. Additionally, all of the windows leaked. A Window World representative visited the home approximately ten times to "fool around" with the windows. Eventually, because of the lifetime warranty, Window World offered to replace the window sashes, which it felt would be a good solution to the problems. By June 2014, the sashes were obtained, but negotiations with the Kopiaszes had ceased, and the sashes were not installed.

         Meanwhile, on April 4, 2013, the Kopiaszes entered into a contract with Window World to install vinyl siding, soffit, fascia, window and door wraps, and gutters and downspouts. The total price of the contract was $13, 619 with $8000 paid upon signing. The Kopiaszes' home included fascia that had crown molding, so Window World determined the gutters were required to be strapped to the house. Strapped gutters are screwed into the roof, however. Window World advertising material does not include a home with gutter straps. The Kopiaszes objected to the gutters being strapped to the roof.

         Because the siding, soffit and fascia was not installed in accordance with the Kopiaszes' design preferences, the remaining balance of $5619 was unpaid.[1]The Kopiaszes decided to engage another contractor, Jose Home Improvements, to address the problems they were having. Jose Rivera, the owner-operator, testified that he had twenty-six years of experience in construction, including soffit, fascia and window work, and had owned his own business for twelve years. Rivera "fixed" the work Window World had done on the soffit and fascia, charging the Kopiaszes $2200 for his work, and installed gutters and downspouts for an additional $1000, all in accordance with the Kopiaszes' wishes. Additionally, Rivera indicated $9300 would be a fair and reasonable estimate for replacing the windows, as he determined none of the windows could be salvaged for repair.

          On October 12, 2015, Window World filed their petition against the Kopiaszes for the balance of both contracts, which totaled $6619.[2] The Kopiaszes counterclaimed for damages, alleging Window World breached the contracts between the parties. After a trial, the district court filed its order on December 23, 2016. Regarding the siding contract for soffit and fascia, the court granted the Kopiaszes' counterclaim in part, but ordered the Kopiaszes to pay Window World $669 of the $3869 demanded. Regarding the window contract, the court held Window World breached the contract, and awarded the Kopiaszes $9300-the estimated cost of replacing all the windows. The court offset the awards and ordered Window World to pay $8631 to the Kopiaszes.

         Window World appeals.

         II. ...


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