Grun Roofing v. Cope

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Grun Roofing v. Cope
Court Texas Courts of Appeals
Citation 529 S.W.2d 258
Date decided October 15, 1975


  • O.W. Grun Roofing and Construction Co. = "Grun" = plaintiff = construction company = roofing contractor
  • Mrs. Cope = "Cope" = client of Grun
  • Cope contracted with Grun to install a new roof on her home
  • Cope specified that the shingles be in russet glow ("russet" is a reddish-brown color).
  • Upon completion, Cope noticed that some shingles had yellow streaks
  • Grun replaced those vexing shingles; however, a color mis-match still remained
  • In this way, the roof lacked a uniform color
  • In response, Cope refused to pay for the roof

Procedural History

  • Grun filed a mechanic's lien (construction lien) on Cope's property.
  • Cope sued Grun for breach of contract.
  • Cope sought to invalidate the mechanic's lien.
  • The trial court found in favor of Cope.


Under the doctrine of substantial performance, may a party to a contract recover if his performance doesn't comply with the contract in a material respect?

What if a constructed building contains a cosmetic defect?


Grun contended that he was entitled to a substantial payment (even if not 100% of the agreed-upon amount in the contract) in accordance with the quantum meruit concept.


No. A party may not recover based on substantial performance if a defect in the party's performance frustrates the purpose of the contract.

Grun isn't entitled to recover anything. He may not recover on the basis of quantum meruit.




Judge: The defect in Grun's performance frustrated the very purpose of the contract: having a roof that is uniform in color.