I have a remodeling project for about $2,500 and I have already signed the contract. When the contractor was making a new door on the wall he found a wire inside the wall. Now he is asking for an extra $600 to remove the wire; otherwise he cannot continue the project. We orally agreed before that I would pay him an extra $300 for hidden wires. But now he says he needs to charge $600 instead of $300 because the wall is solid. I have no problems paying him $600 but I do not want to be ripped off. I also do not want to terminate the contract and leave a hole on my wall. Is $600 a reasonable number? What are my options?
First, find out what the law is in your jurisdiction concerning hidden wires. It may be that removal is not required. If removal is required, or if you want to have it done for safety reasons, option A is to call another contractor or handyman service and ask for a quote. If the job can be done cheaper by someone else, it is ok to bring that person in for that purpose.
If you want the present contractor to do the job, option B is to say "I'll pay $300 after we sign a contract change document, and if you want to quit rather than do the job for my price, I can't stop you."
Option C is to pay the $600 provided that a contract change document is signed. I wouldn't choose this option without knowing that the removal is legally required.
You can find out whether removal is required by law in several ways. First, ask your contractor to tell you what law requires it, then look it up. Or you can ask any other licensed contractor. Or you can visit the county engineer (or whatever that department is called where you live) and ask. Another good question for the engineering department would be whether it would be acceptable to leave the wire where it is if both ends are properly terminated.
$600 is reasonable. Despite all the talk in the comments about "just reroute", that's a job. It's two connections and an extra length of wire, all tied in, in a legal, accessible fashion. It has stopped the job, and retooling is required. It kills a good part of the day. At $800/day, I'd go for a $600 flat price.
Despite what people on the innerwebs may tell you, a contractor's pay is not a negotible item, nor is it a flea market (gimme this and you throw in that). Heck, if a 9-5er had to deal with that, he/she'd call the labor board.
For the contractors here saying otherwise, shame on you.