Essential Contract Terms

When you are looking for a good remodeler you need to ensure that some certain essential requirements are included in order to help reduce the number of disagreements should a problem arise. It is best to insist upon, as many of these suggestions be included in the contract as possible, however even with a good contract, it is possible to still have a bad contractor.

First, you want to make sure there is a diagram of the work to be done, try to make sure it includes as many details as possible so that there are no questions about what is expected from the contractor. If during the course of construction, you decide to make any changes make sure these changes are noted upon the diagram and you as well as the contractor initial the changes, and place the date beside it.

Second, start and completion dates should be specified. You want exact dates, not approximations in the contract.

Third, an agreement should be included in the contract that will cover how changes will be handled. You want to make sure you fully understand this portion since most projects require at least minor changes to be made during the construction process.

Fourth, look for a contract that gives you a warranty on the work that is done. At a minimum, you should insist upon a one-year warranty. If you are able to negotiate a longer warranty then by all means do so as it will be a huge savings if a problem occurs after the work is done.

Fifth, there should be a binding arbitration clause included. However, it should also be written that you are able to escalate your claim to a lawsuit if you feel that the arbitration process is not working.

Sixth, there should also be a clause in the contract that specifies how the contract can be canceled. This section of the contract should be very, very specific and you should have no questions about how this happens. It should also be very clear when the contractor is allowed to cancel the contract.

Seventh, you want to look for a statement in the contract that includes how you will be released from any liens or liabilities from subcontractors as well as suppliers. You do not want to be responsible for your contractor not paying their bills. Ensure that there is very detailed information here about the way in which any liens will be handled.