10 Good Reasons to Sign a Contract When Renovating Your Home
Before you start that major renovation...
Are you planning to use a contractor to renovate your home? Before you do, have a set of plans drawn up and enter into a written construction contract with the contractor so the project can be performed in accordance with your specifications. These are critical items that will protect your interests as a homeowner and the interests of the general contractor as project overseer.
Here are 10 good reasons to have a written renovation contract signed and in place before you start.
1. A written contract creates a binding legal agreement between you and your contractor. It sets out the rights and obligations of each party and ensures that there is a permanent record of the terms agreed to between you and the contractor.
2. A contract may help to protect you against financial loss or personal liability in the event of accidents or injuries on the work site.
3. A clearly written contract can reduce confusion and misunderstandings by detailing what each party expects and requires from the other party.
4. Your contract should also list the work that is NOT included, such as work that should be done by you or by third parties who are not parties to this contract (for example, tile work to be done at a later date might be covered in a separate contract between you and the tiling contractor).
5. The contract should include all initial costs and estimates for the renovation project.
6. A written contract clarifies things like (i) the timing of the construction and expected complete date, (ii) the dates on which progress payments are to be made and the manner in which those payments are to be made, (iii) the procedure for any changes to the work, and (iv) the contractor's responsibility for carrying liability insurance and workers' compensation.
7. A good renovation contract also provides how any disputes that arise between you and your contractor can be resolved.
8. The contract will give you a means of being released from your contractual obligations if the contractor defaults in performing its obligations.
9. The contract should specify a warranty period for defects in workmanship or materials within a reasonable time period so the contractor can fix those defects which are detected within the stated warranty period.
10. Lastly, a contract that has been signed by both parties clearly establishes that the terms and conditions contained in the agreement were found to be reasonable and acceptable at the time that they signed it.