For many contractors, remodeling jobs are their “bread and butter.” These jobs can range from redoing a small room to huge renovations and can account for a large percentage of your annual income. While the vast majority of these types of jobs will go off without a hitch, it is important to have a legal contract in place that will protect you should something go wrong. A good remodeling contract doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but it should include all the essential elements.
Essential Parts of a Remodeling Contract
The following are the key elements of a good remodeling contract. While this blog should cover the most common aspects of any job, there may be additional components that should be included (or not included) in your specific case, which is why it is always important to have an experienced construction law attorney write or review a contract before it is signed.
- Description of the Project – Including a description of the project is critical as it will make sure all parties know exactly what to expect. This description doesn’t have to include every detail of every step, but should include more information than, “remodeling kitchen.”
- How Changes are Handled – It is almost inevitable that sometime during the project, changes will need to be made. Including a section in the contract that explains how changes will be made will help to avoid misunderstandings or conflict.
- Project Completion Dates – Identifying the target completion dates in the contract can help to set reasonable expectations. This can include milestones as well, such as setting the date for when the project will start, when the demolition steps will be done, and when the final completion date will be. These dates should be listed as an approximate timeline.
- Payment Information – Just like the customer is going to want a good timeline on when the job is to be completed, you need to identify when and how payments are expected. This can be payments that are required up front, or at certain milestones, or once the job is complete. Regardless, whatever you agree upon should be identified in the contract.
- Lien Waivers – Offering lien waivers provides customers with good peace of mind. A lien waiver simply shows that as payments are made, you no longer have the right to file a lien on their property for that amount. As you get paid, you will need to issue a simple waiver along with the receipt.
- Cancellation Details – In the event that either party needs to cancel the job, instructions for how this is to be done should be included in the contract. This will cover things like cancellation fees, refunds, and valid reason for stopping the job.
We’re Here to Help
Having a good contract in place before starting any remodeling job is absolutely essential. We can write up custom contracts for each job, or provide you with a good contract template that can be used for a variety of different jobs. Contact us to go over your specific needs, and see how we can help protect your business.