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Contents of a Home Remodeling Contract

STOP - Before you sign your home remodeling contract, make sure that everything you want and don't want is in writing, because you will not be able to change your mind later. The home improvement contract that you are about to sign is a legal and endorsable document.

When you tell your contractor
"But We Talked About It"
That will not work


At a minimum you should have the following in a home remodeling contract:

  • FULL INFORMATION OF ALL PARTIES - Be sure that your full and legal name, address, phone number & email address is in the contract along with the contractors info. This way you have all info needed if a legal issue should arise. Be sure that if your state requires a contractor to be licensed that his license number is included and check it.
  • SCOPE OF WORK - A detailed scope of work sheet or sheets should be included with explanations of each portion of work being provided.
  • EXCLUSIONS - Have the contractor list everything that he is NOT doing to complete your job. Otherwise have him put in writing that anything that is needed to meet minimum building permit requirements.
  • START & COMPLETION DATES - Make sure to include a start and completion date. This can help to protect you from a contractor taking a deposit and not starting your job for months, along with not finishing on time.
  • CONTRACT PRICE - The full price for all work must be in writing both spelled out and numerical to prevent any typo errors.
  • DOWN PAYMENT - A down payment is governed in most states. Most of the time it is 10% or $1000.00, which ever is less. Don't ever pay this in cash!
  • DETAILED PRICING - If you don't have a detailed price sheet and you decide that you only want 6 can lights in the ceiling instead of 10, the contractor may offer you a refund of $50. ea when in fact you might have been charged $200.00 each.
  • TERMS & CONDITIONS - The terms & conditions portion of the contract can speak about things such as if there is a job delay by either party, if legal action is needed, if payments are not made on time and so on... Be sure that you are comfortable with all the terms or don't sign.
  • NOTICE OF CANCELATION - Most states have a "Cooling down period" for home improvement contracts. If this is applicable in your state, be sure that this form is included.
  • PROGRESS PAYMENT SCHEDULE - Your contract needs to have a progress payment schedule. This will let you know when and how much to pay the contractor. Stay firm with that schedule and don't ever pay a contractor until all work is completed for that payment.

  Remember that everything in your contract can be negotiated.

This document is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace legal counseling.

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