There is an old saying. “It only counts if it’s in writing.” No matter how small your reno job is, you should have a written contract with the contractor. Here are ten issues you should make sure to cover in every contract.
- The contractor should have a physical address listed on the contract. If possible, before signing the contract visit the location. Also, make sure the address on the contract matches the address on their business card, website, or any other advertisements.
- The work for your business should be on one contract. Don’t sign multiple contracts with different people claiming to be from the business. There should be one main contract with your signature and a signature from the construction company representative.
- Check for a contractor’s license number printed on the contract. Don’t accept a hand-written license number. Again, check the license number against the number on websites and other advertising. Also, check the license status, make sure it isn’t revoked or expired.
- Clarify and write down everything the contractor will do. This includes any special work or work based on architect or designer plans. Reference any other plans or design modifications in the contract.
- Understand what the contractor will not do, or is unaware of at the time of the contract. For example, if the contractor tears off the face of a wall and finds substantial hidden structural damage. He wasn’t aware of it and neither were you. Areas that can’t be seen or easily inspected are usually on the list of exclusions.
- Agree to the length of the work. Have a specific end date written into the contract. Of course, unforeseen issues can arise that change the date but have a date stipulated. Timelines help keep progress on track.
- Write out the terms of clean-up and disposal of materials and trash. Do you want it every day, or at the end of the week? You are running a business and want it to look professional and comfortable for your customers. But, excessive cleaning takes time, and it can slow progress.
- Agree on a total fee for the job, a payment schedule, and the accepted forms of payment. There is no standard for a payment schedule, but an upfront deposit is usually required. Typically, the rest of the pay is based on the completion of milestones.
- The contract should state where the contractor is going to get his power and water. If you don’t want him to use your utilities he may have to rent a generator or have water transported it. The costs will be added to your bill.
- Read and understand the terms of dispute resolution. Should a problem arise between you and the company, how will it be settled?
Don’t be afraid to discuss your reno contract with the contractor. Professional contractors are used to signing contracts and will be happy to go over every detail with you. At Antham Construction Group we will gladly discuss your contract with you and make sure everything is clear before you sign.
If you are considering a reno for your building or office, give us a call. We are experienced professionals, we are a family owned business doing renovations since 2003.