A few Ideas…
þ Make sure that your approved contract references complete plans and specifications including the Architects name, plan dates and plan page numbers as a point of reference.
þ Make sure that there is a scope of work referenced and attached to your agreement that includes all specific notes, qualifications and exclusions or conditions to the contract. If there is an alternate add or deduct price, make sure that you clearly understand the details.
þ Make sure that payment terms and conditions are clear and that you are comfortable with those terms. Make it your plan to only release initial down-payment funds, if any, predicated on your receipt of all insurance certificate’s and agreements. For your protection, this insurance must be in place prior to the start of work or really… the work should not start.
þ Remember that by consumer protection laws, you have a right of recession on your contract which allows you three days to cancel out of a signed home improvement contract for any reason. Don’t feel pressured, if something does not feel right, it probably isn’t! The point is to feel comfortable and think clearly about what you expect from your contractor and your working relationship and plan accordingly.
þ There may be an infinite number of clauses you could enter into your own contract that would further help you control the contractor but remember, yours is a two way agreement and he/she is providing a valuable service for you, so be fair. All that being said, it is always advised to have your attorney review any contract you might consider signing especially if it is of significant value pertaining to your home.
þ Your payment terms might want to include that final payment for the job will be released upon completion of the final project including all punch-list items. Each and every payment should be accompanied by a signed Waiver of Lien/ release on your property. These general terms could prove helpful with both the contractor and the homeowner understanding there respective obligations and concerns when it comes time for final payment.
Call or e-mail if you need any help.
Bill Kelly – W. L. Kelly & Associates, Inc.
Construction Management & Development Services.