Put 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.
The written remodeling contract or construction contract should
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
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
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
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
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
And here's some additional information on having a
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