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 one who has agreed to construct a building, or to do work thereon, performs the contract substantially, and makes a bona-fide effort to comply with its terms, slight defects in his work and slight deviations from the contract will not prevent him from recovering the contract price, less the damage to the adversary party, which is usually the amount that will be necessary to make the building to conform to the terms of the contract.1 On the one hand the owner can not terminate the contract for slight departures from its terms, nor can he defeat recovery thereon entirely,2 and on the other hand the contractor can not recover the entire contract price without any abatement for the expense of making the work conform to the contract.3
5 See ch. LXXXVIII.
6 Foeller v. Heintz, 137 Wis. 169, 24 L. R. A. (N.S.) 327, 118 N. W. 543
7 Foeller v. Heintz, 137 Wis. 169, 24 L. R. A. (N.S.) 327, 118 N. W. 543.
8 Poole v. Shergold, 1 Cox Ch. 273, 2 Bro. Ch. 118.
9 Korman v. Livesey, 91 N. J. L. 699, 103 Atl. 381.
10 Brown v Needles, - Ia. - , 170 N. W. 804.