Remodeling? Insist on a Contract

  • Be sure the contract includes the contractor’s name, address, phone and license number (if applicable).
  • Detail what the contractor will and will not do. Your contractor should detail a list of materials for the project in your contract. This includes size, color, model, brand name and product.
  • The contract should include the approximate start date and substantial completion dates.
  • Study all required plans carefully. Insist that you approve them and that they are identified in your written contract before any work begins.
  • Federal law requires a contractor to give you written notice of your right to cancel a contract, without penalty, within three business days of signing it, provided it was solicited at some place (for instance, your home) other than the contractor’s place of business or appropriate trade premises or has financing provision.
  • Make sure financial terms are understood and spelled out in the contract. The total price, payment schedule, and any cancellation penalty should be clear.
  • A warranty covering materials and workmanship for a minimum of one year should be written into the contract. The warranty must be identified as either “full” or “limited.” The name and address of the party who will honor the warranty (contractor, distributor or manufacturer) must be identified. Make sure the time period for the warranty is specified.
  • A binding arbitration clause is also a good inclusion in the event a disagreement occurs. Arbitration may enable you to resolve disputes without costly litigation.
  • Thoroughly review the entire contract and be certain you understand it before signing it. Consider the scope of the project and make sure all items you’ve requested are included. If you don’t see a specific item in the contract, consider it not included.
  • Never sign an incomplete contract. Always keep a copy of the final document for your records.
Source: NARI Atlanta