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The breaches in contract normally fall into any of four categories: minor, material, fundamental (repudiatory), and anticipatory.

A minor (or partial) breach of contract is where, for example, a builder substitutes a part (specified within the contract) for a different part that may work just as well. A material breach of contract is where the breach has serious consequences on the outcome of the project where a party would not have entered into the contract if they could not have guaranteed this term. For example, a builder substitutes a specified part (within the contract) for a different part that is of lesser quality and will not last as long as the part specified within the contract. A fundamental or repudiatory breach of contract is where the severity is such that the contract can be terminated instead of the innocent party seeking damages. For example, if a builder were to abandon the site where the work was to be carried out the innocent party would have to terminate the contract. An anticipatory breach is one where a party expressly communicates that they will not be carrying out a term or condition of the contract.

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