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What You Need to Know Before Signing a Remodeling Contract

Posted by Matt Ates | December 18, 2017

helloquence-51716-1.jpgBenefits of a Clear Contract

Half of knowing that you’re working with the right remodeling company is knowing what to look for in your contract. Most of the frustration you might experience during remodeling can be avoided if you establish clear expectations up front within your contract. If your Plano, Texas-area renovation company is unwilling to include the information and commitments below, you may reconsider who you’re hiring.    

What to Look for in Your Contract

  1. Proof that Your Contractor is Licensed and Insured: Unfortunately, there are a number of companies operating without proper licensure and insurance. It’s vital to check your areas requirements for licensure and to make sure your contractor meets them. If not, you may be denied legal recourse if anything goes wrong on the job, be it a promise broken or an on-site injury.
  2. Assurance that Your Contractor Will Secure Permits and Approvals: This caution goes hand-in-hand with contractor proof of licensure and insurance. Don’t work with a contractor who doesn’t operate legally.
  3. Project Description: Make sure your contract includes a detailed description of your project scope. This is essential for both you and your contractor to ensure a positive working relationship and solid communication.
  4. A Plan for Project Change Orders: Changes inevitably occur as you remodel. Whether you decide to sub out a flooring material or whether demolition reveals a greater-than-anticipated remodeling work load, it’s helpful to have a plan for what happens when plans change or the unexpected occurs.
  5. Timeline: Make sure that your contract includes both a start date and an end date, as well as agreements on what happens if a project cannot be completed on time. Additionally, coordinate with your contractor on daily hours of renovation operation so that you can plan ahead.
  6. Payment Schedule: Your contract should list your overall project price as well as details on payment installment expectations. It should also include a clause about what happens if the home buyer fails to make a payment.
  7. Labor and Material Cost Details: Although it isn’t necessary for your contract itself to include details on every material selection and cost, an itemized bid should be attached to the contract and included in your agreement before you sign.
  8. Lien Waivers: A lien waiver protects you as the home owner. Any worker on a construction site can claim that they haven’t been paid, which could involve you in a lawsuit, which can be a drain on your resources even if you expect to win it. A lien waiver, however, can be issued at the start of each new installment, signifying that the contractor used your last payment installment to cover labor and material costs. This can help legally protect you from lawsuits.
  9. Exit Clauses: Exit clauses protect both you and your renovation company. They detail specific reasons that either party can terminate the contract without legal repercussions.
  10. A Favorable Warranty: Finally, ensure that your contractor offers you at least a one-year warranty on your project to cover any standard issues that may arise after construction. If your contractor agrees to all of the above, you can feel confident signing your contract and moving forward with renovation.

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