Signing Your Contract … Continued
Project Timetable. This section includes estimated start and completion dates. Your remodeler may add language that stipulates conditions, such as adverse weather, that would require an extension of the completion date.
Price and Payment Schedule. Remodeling work can be priced several ways. Whichever way your remodeler prices your job, be sure you understand when payments are due. You make these payments (sometimes called draws) to the remodeler during construction according to a payment schedule you both agree upon. The payment schedule indicates how much you must pay at the start of and at specified intervals during the project. Ask your remodeler to carefully explain the price and payment schedule in your contract before you sign it. The agreement should mention any deposits you may have already made (for an estimate, sketches, or drawings) if the remodeler plans to apply those deposits to your total payment.
Expect to make payments when you:
- Sign the contract. (The amount of down payment varies widely depending upon state law and project’s size, type, and duration).
- Receive a regular invoice weekly, monthly, or at milestones (such as when framing begins or the project is under roof).
- Sign a change order.
- Order a custom-made item (such as a stained-glass window, cabinets, or lighting fixture).
In addition, your remodeler will expect the final payment upon substantial completion. The contract should make clear when substantial completion will occur.
If you are financing the project with a loan, be sure that the loan disbursement schedule matches your remodeler’s billing intervals. Regardless of the source of the funds for the project, be prepared to pay on time. Withholding payment, other than as permitted by the agreement, undermines mutual trust and could delay completion of the job.