I am located in Pennsylvania, USA and have hired a home improvement contractor to make some repairs, which they are currently in the middle of. In their proposal, which I signed and accepted, there are four sections describing the four different parts of the project. At the bottom of each section, there is, in big bold type, a "TOTAL" dollar amount listed for the cost of the work described in that section. The proposal does not list a grand total at the end, I assume because I was able to pick and choose which parts I actually wanted them to do. I always wanted to do all four so picking a subset of them was never a consideration.
In the middle of the first section (the most costly one), the specific cost of acquiring permits for the work is listed. It is not described as an additional cost, I assumed they were listing it to help explain where their costs are coming from. When I signed the proposal, I considered the total cost of the project to be the sum of the four totals listed, which would include the permit cost.
My problem is that the work has started and the contractor has sent me their draft invoice for the project and it lists the cost of the permits as separate, in addition to the four totals. As I write this, I have paid them a little over a third of the total cost of the project (the permit cost is less than 10% of the total cost of the project).
So, with the proposal having four sections, each with a total cost in bold type beneath it, the absence of a "grand total", and the absence of any language describing the permit cost being above and beyond the total listed for the section the permit is listed in, does the contractor have any right to add the permit cost on top of the four totals?