Building and Remodeling 
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Put the remodeling contract
or construction contract in writing !

You should always have the remodeling contract or construction contract in writing.The scope of the work to be undertaken as well as the specifications are the two things that any homeowner and building contractor should agree upon prior to the signing of a remodeling contract or construction contract for a major renovation job. This will protect you if the work that’s completed by the building contractor isn’t up to scratch. It also, of course, protects the building contractor or remodeling contractor from any miscommunications that can cost him money.

It’s just common sense to ensure that the entire job is well understood by the client and the building contractor and certainly helps any disputes as the project progresses and is completed. It’s essential to get these items right in a construction contract or remodeling contract for both parties and should be considered as quite normal in the hiring process.

From your point of view, the written scope of work and specifications you complete will help a building contractor complete his or her own that will involve more job related and detailed descriptions.

CalFinder Remodeling

The written remodeling contract or construction contract should include

Names and Addresses: Your name and the address of the property where the work is to be performed, as well as the building contractor or remodeling contractor's full name, address, telephone number and professional license number.

A Job Description: - for example - "The work performed under this agreement consists of the following:........"

The labor and materials costs: Specify the materials to be used - quality, quantity, weight, color, size, brand name etc.

Payment terms: whether you agree to pay for just labor or materials or both and method of payment.

The starting and completion dates.

License Status and Number: The remodeling contractor or construction contractor should state that he/she will comply with all state and local licensing and registration requirements for type of work involved

Liability Waiver: The remodeling contract or construction contract should state that the homeowner shall be exempt from liability to the fullest extent of the law if the remodeling contractor or building contractor is injured in the course of performing the specific work.

Permits and Approvals: Whether you or the remodeling contractor or building contractor is responsible for determining which permits are necessary and for obtaining and paying for the permits.

Liens and Waivers of Liens: You shoud protect yourself against liens filed by the remodeling contractor, subcontractors and provider of materials.

Materials and Warranties: for example " All materials shall be new, in compliance with all applicable laws and codes, and shall be covered by a manufacturer's warranty if appropriate"

Dispute resolution: If any dispute arises under the terms of the agreement, the parties can agree to select a mutually agreeable neutral third party to help them mediate it.

Also, see Handling a Construction Dispute

Change Orders: what happens if the remodeling contractor's cost and time estimates prove too low due to unforseen events; or when the home owner wants a mid-job change that would add time and cost to the specified work, etc

Site Maintenance: You can specify, for example, that the work be carried out between certain hours; that all debris be taken away by the contractor, etc

Late Performance: If the performance of the work is late, the remodeling contractor could agree to credit an agreed amount per day, for example, against any sums owed by the homeowner to the the remodeling contractor.


As an example:  Let’s assume for one moment that you intend to have your bathroom remodelled. You should complete your own scope of work and specifications first. You should basically explain to the remodeling contractor what you want done and how, and perhaps itemizing the items to be used. This will give the contractor a place to start examining the job from a technical standpoint. Your scope of work statement could look something like this

Scope of Work: Renovate and remodel hall bathroom.

· Remove and dispose of all existing fixtures, tile and wallpaper. This includes tub, sink, toilet and shower stall.
· Replace tub/shower with a garden tub and its fixtures.
· Replace toilet with a low-flow model.
· Replace sink/counter with an oak cabinet and double sink set up.
· Redo walls in off white paint with decorative border.
· Retile floors using ceramics, color to be chosen later.

By stating clearly what you want, the contractors you are seeking to hire will have a clearer picture and be better able to give you more accurate estimates, accounting for every step of the process.

It’s essential that they know what you desire so as to give you an accurate estimate. While it's fairly easy for the roofing company to know a replacement job also involves a removal and disposal, a general contractor might not know you want the wall paper and flooring removed and disposed of in a remodel job if you don't say so.

Be specific when you put down your thoughts in writing. Do this before you seek out contractors and  you will find their estimates are more likely to cover all of the bases per your specifications, leaving few things to chance.

And here's some additional information on having a remodeling contract.

© Copyright 2009 - All Rights Reserved - Put the construction contract or remodeling contract in writing



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