Signing Your Contract
Even a small job requires a legally binding document that spells out the terms and conditions of your agreement. A professional remodeler will insist on a detailed, explicit document with all aspects of the project in writing. A fair contract addresses the concerns and interests of both parties.
Contract requirements vary from state to state. Even if your state does not require a written agreement for remodeling jobs, insist that your remodeler provide one and make sure that it clearly indicates what you will get for your money. In addition, your agreement should include some or all of the following information.
Names of Property Owners and Remodeler. Your name(s) and the contractor’s should appear on the contract.
Location of Your Property. Your home’s address.
Detailed Description of Project. The remodeler usually provides this description.
Items Incorporated by Reference. Examples may include specifications and the remodeler’s warranty. To avoid confusion, a contract may also describe work that will not be done or that someone else will do.
Visual Representation. Examples include a blueprint, floor plan, or sketches that show what the remodeler will do and where. These documents, often incorporated by reference, illustrate various construction systems, such as foundation, framing, heating, air-conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems. The remodeler uses sketches and drawings to obtain a building permit and guide the project.
When the remodeler provides the drawings, typically he or she owns the copyright. Another party cannot use these copyrighted documents to build your job or to remodel another home without permission from the remodeler.