DILLARD, P. J., RAY and SELF, JJ.
contract dispute, homeowner Brannon Graybill
("Graybill") sued contractor Attaway Construction
& Associates, LLC ("Attaway") for damages
related to work Attaway performed during the remodeling of
Graybill's residence. Following a bench trial, the
Superior Court of Columbia County entered judgment in
Attaway's favor, including an award of attorney fees
pursuant to OCGA § 13-6-11. Graybill appeals and, for
the reasons that follow, we affirm in part and reverse in
adduced at trial revealed that Graybill and Attaway entered
into an October 1, 2014 contract for residential remodeling
work at Graybill's residence. The contract listed the
cost of the work as $175, 000; Graybill testified that the
$175, 000 represented a comprehensive fixed price for the
project,  while Attaway asserted that the project
would cost "approximately $225, 000 on a cost plus 12%
basis." Attaway also stated that Graybill executed the
contract to obtain a loan for $175, 000 and that he would pay
any difference between the contract price and the total cost
out of pocket.
upon the parties' agreement, drawings were prepared and
subsequently modified on multiple occasions. During the
course of the remodeling project, Graybill and his wife chose
more expensive and higher-quality materials than were
originally budgeted. As the cost of the project escalated,
and Attaway sought additional payments, the parties'
relationship soured. Ultimately, Graybill paid Attaway $213,
979 and paid $52, 231.73 directly to some of Attaway's
subcontractors. However, Graybill refused to pay two of
Attaway's applications for payment totaling $43, 540.05,
after which Attaway issued a July 8, 2015 "Suspension of
Construction for Non-Payment." On August 21, 2015,
Graybill sued Attaway for breach of contract and negligent
construction, and Attaway counterclaimed for, among other
things, breach of contract, quantum meruit, fraud,
attorney fees pursuant to OCGA § 13-6-11. Graybill
waived his right to a jury trial and, following a bench
trial, the trial court entered judgment in favor of Attaway
for $43, 540.05 in damages plus interest and $57, 156.62 in
attorney fees and expenses. This appeal followed.
his first enumeration of error, Graybill contends the trial
court erroneously refused his "right to present oral
closing argument" and his right to a concluding
argument. However, we need not consider Graybill's
enumeration because he waived the alleged error.
the conclusion of the bench trial, the trial court asked
counsel for both parties, "[d]o y'all want to argue
it this afternoon, or what do you want - do you want to
submit it, or do you want to send me a brief or what?"
Graybill's counsel responded that he could complete his
argument in "ten minutes" and that he had prepared
two bench briefs for the trial court, while Attaway's
counsel stated he had not seen the bench briefs and suggested
that "each side submit their proposed findings and
conclusions of law[;] [t]hat would be our argument."
Graybill's counsel resisted Attaway's counsel's
suggestion, saying "I would prefer not to. I'd
prefer to argue it, Your Honor."
followed was an extended colloquy between counsel and the
trial court concerning whether the parties wished to argue
the case personally or by post-trial briefing. During that
discussion, Graybill's counsel repeated his desire
"to close today" rather than submit briefs in lieu
of argument. The trial court responded that it would allow
the parties to submit post-trial briefs "and that will
stand for your argument, unless . . . someone objects, "
but added that "if you want to argue, I've got all
night." Graybill's counsel then stated:
[GRAYBILL'S COUNSEL]: Well, we're - we're going
to do what you tell us to do. What are you telling us? Would
you have preferred to do a bench brief?
THE COURT: Without objection, then, what I'm going to ask
you to argue - is to argue the case in the way of - of a
[GRAYBILL'S COUNSEL]: Okay.
THE COURT: - or brief -
[GRAYBILL'S COUNSEL]: Sure.
THE COURT: - and incorporate - and that would incorporate
[GRAYBILL'S COUNSEL]: May we put a limit on that?
THE COURT: A page limit?
[GRAYBILL'S COUNSEL]: Yes, sir.
Graybill's counsel then said, "Well, . . . I object
then. I want to orally argue the case[, ]" to which the
trial court replied,
THE COURT: Okay, argue it. That's fine, we'll stay
and we'll argue it.
[GRAYBILL'S COUNSEL]: I mean, you know, it's - -
that's what I - - that's what I want to do.
THE COURT: And if you - - all right, you argue it, and then
if you all - - all right, that will be fine. You argue it.
I'll take care of everything after that.
[GRAYBILL'S COUNSEL]: Sure.
counsel then asked to reserve argument in the form of a
written brief, which led to additional discussion in view of
Graybill's counsel's statement that he wanted to
waive opening and ...