This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
If a contract to construct a building is broken by reason of the contractor's failure to complete it, the measure of damages is the cost of completing it less the contract price.1 If the owner prevents the contractor from completing the building, the measure of damages is the contract price less the cost of completing the building.2 If the contractor delays performance beyond the time agreed upon, the measure of damages is the rental value of the property for the time of such delay.3 If it has no rental value, the measure of damages is the value of the loss of its possession for the time of the delay, as a thing of use.4 If a building contract is performed substantially but not literally, the measure of damages is the cost of remedying such defects as do not necessitate an unreasonable expenditure.5
6 Carroll v. Caine, 27 Wash. 402; 67 Pac. 993.
7 Hickok v. Adams Co., - S. D. - ; 99 N. W. 77.
8 Connolly v. Sullivan, 173 Mass. 1; 53 N. E. 143.
1 Wittenberg v. Mollyneaux, 60 Neb. 583; 83 N. W. 842; Dose v. Tooze, 37 Or. 13; 60 Pac. 380.
2 Dose v. Tooze, 37 Or. 13; 60 Pac. 380.
1 Davis v. Ford, 81 Md. 333; 33 Atl. 280.
2 Wilson v. Borden, - N. J. -: 54 Atl. 815; Jenkins v. Ry., 58 S. C 373; 36 S. E. 703.
3 Cannon v. Hunt, 113 Ga. 501 ; 38 S. E. 983; Eaton v. Gladwell, 121 Mich. 444; 80 N. W. 292.
4 Lee v. Normal School Co., 1 Neb. (Unofficial) 681; 96 N. W. 65.