If you are preparing to renovate your home, you’re probably quickly discovering that there are all sorts of things you need to consider as you go through the process of selecting a contractor to do the work for you and your family. Although this can be a daunting task, it is well worth the effort to find the ideal professional to handle your project. It is, however, important for you to understand how to read contractors’ contracts. This guide will teach you about ten things you need to look for every time you review a contract you’re thinking about signing.
- The actual contract – The “contract” section of an agreement should clearly state the terms you and the remodeler are agreeing to. If, for instance, the contractor said he or she would complete your project in two weeks, the contract should say so. Any other pertinent details of this nature also need to be included.
- The contractor’s address – Reputable contractors include the physical addresses of their offices on their contractual agreements. Don’t work with a remodeler who either doesn’t have an address or refuses to include it on legally binding documentation.
- License numbers – Not all municipalities in the Carolinas require general contractors to have business licenses. If you live in an area where this is necessary, though, make sure you only consider remodelers who list their license information on their contracts.
- Insurance information – Similar to license information, reputable contractors ought to include liability and worker’s compensation insurance policy information on their contracts. This will help you feel confident and protected when you sign on the dotted line.
- Type of work to be done – It’s a good idea to request that the contractor you ultimately choose include a list of all the projects to be completed in your paperwork. This way, if something doesn’t get finished, you’ll have a contract to reference. It bears noting that this is not necessarily a standard section, so don’t be concerned if you have to ask your remodeler to include this information.
- Length of project – Your contractor, should include an estimated finish date for your project in your contractual agreement. If the project goes significantly longer than anticipated with no explanation, you’ll be glad to have this piece of information at your fingertips. However, their are delays that do occur that are out of the companies control such as scope of work additions, material delays, inclement weather, illness and etc.
- Exclusions – All reputable contractors have exclusions in their contracts. These vary from professional to professional and job to job, but often include things the contractor’s original estimate could not have taken into account, such as faulty wiring behind drywall or asbestos being present in your home.
- EPA lead safety certificate number – The U.S. government requires any contractor working on a home constructed prior to 1978 to carry a lead safety certification courtesy of the EPA. If this applies to you, make sure the certificate number is included somewhere in your contract.
- Payment information – The contract you sign should clearly lay out any payment terms, including the date by which your final bill must be paid-in-full. If you are financing your project through your remodeler, he or she should include a breakdown of the agreed-upon payment schedule.
- Warranty details – Not all contractors offer warranties on their work, but those who do should provide details about their guarantees in their contracts.
At Hatch Homes, we make sure each and every contract we create is well-written and includes all pertinent information. We’ve been serving Virginian and Carolinian families for years and are proud to have many satisfied customers throughout the region. Give us a call to discuss your upcoming remodeling project at your earliest convenience.