A home improvement contract is a legally binding contract that describes the scope of the project and acts as a rulebook during disputes. According to Handy, it is important to understand all the crucial elements in a home improvement contract before signing it in order to eliminate the risk of disputes in the future.
Here are a few important things that you must know about home improvement contracts:
- Scope of the project – This section is one of the most important since it outlines everything included in the project including the color, design, size, and material choices. This includes any specific product or brand choices along with their specifications as well.
It would also include the parties along with any subcontractor that would be involved in the project. The key thing to remember is that if there is anything that you want to be included in the scope of work, never hesitate to discuss the details with the contractor.
- Licenses and registration – It is a legal requirement for any type of home improvement work to be done by a professional that has the necessary licenses and registration required by the state or locality. This applies to any subcontractors they bring into the project too.
Thus, be sure to verify the contract for the details about the licenses and registrations since any work done by an unlicensed service provider can spell a lot of trouble in the future.
- Insurance for loss coverage and liability – The home improvement contract must include a copy of commercial general liability insurance, surety bonds, and worker’s compensation insurance. This would ensure that you remain protected against any liability that could result from any accidents that occur on your property, any damage to it, or harm to the employees.
- Contract time – There are several factors that can affect the time required for the completion of the project. These include the availability of supplies, approvals, the condition of the weather, and more. However, your home improvement contract should still include an estimated starting date as well as the completion date for the project. It should also list the estimated completion date for the various steps of the project.
- Project costs and payment schedule – You should thoroughly inspect the project cost section and the payment schedule section in order to avoid any unexpected surprises. Ensure that you note how much you are being charged for the materials, the labor rates, the number of man-hours to be expected, the cost of delivery, clean up, equipment rental, and more.
Inspect the down payment required and ensure the due date is acceptable. Finally, inspect how much you are required to pay for different stages of completion of the work.
There are many other important elements that you need to consider before signing a home improvement project to ensure the terms and conditions are in your favor. To ensure that you don’t get scammed or miss anything important, Handy suggests you hire a professional lawyer who can verify the home improvement contract and ensure everything listed is as discussed.