Are you about to move forward with a renovation project and are feeling uncertain about the stipulations involved in the contract drawn up by your tradesperson? Or maybe, you're at the initial stages, unsure about how to begin drafting up the contract itself? Negotiations can be difficult and it's hard to be certain of exactly what should be written on paper.
Even though every party has different expectations, homeowners should make certain to include a few things in their renovation contract to ensure for a smooth improvement process as well as a positive experience for both yourself and your tradesperson. For this reason, we've compiled a list of things that every reno contract should include to make sure you don't get left out in the cold!
It is a possibility that your tradesperson will hand you a pre-drawn contract, asking you to fill in the blanks. If this is the case, there are still specific things you should make sure have been outlined in detail so you won't face any hurdles in the renovation process.
Although your tradesperson may use the terms quote and estimate interchangeably, they are not the same thing. An estimate is a contractor's guess as to what the cost of your project will be based on the initial descriptions they have received. Whereas a quote is the fixed price of a renovation project, Because of a detailed analysis of your job. Before beginning any heavy lifting, make certain that these terms are clear between yourself and your contractor, as you don't want the entire project to start on the wrong foot, or rather, safety boot.
source: Pixabay, camellia_sasanqua
Firstly, make certain that the renovation contract describes the details of the project itself. Include who is responsible for what, whether it being yourself or the contractor. Clearly mark the start and completion dates, as well as terms of payment. How, as well as how often, will the contractor be paid, including cost of labour as well as materials?
Include all information on the types of materials being used, as well as the types of products and workman warranties offered alongside them.
Even if the real dates or details fluctuate slightly during the process, it is important to have something solid in writing so that both yourself and your contractor have a definite agenda in mind. Clearly state each and every single arrangement that you and your contractor have made regarding the project. As they say, it is better to be safe than sorry, and in this case, It is better to be overly descriptive than lacking in detail.
Depending on the size of your renovation project, as well as the city or province you live in, project stipulations will vary and renovation permits may be required. It is very important to do your research and be aware of the permits that are required for your renovation. Unfortunately, you cannot guarantee that your contractor will know the specific details of all permits that pertain to your job, so be as knowledgeable as possible initially and this will leave little room for error or legal battles.
Also, consider cleanup or removal of any debris or materials that may be left behind following the project, as getting rid of specific materials can be more difficult than it seems!
This will be a separate document from that of your renovation contract, but an important document none-the-less. A lien waiver should come from your contractor, subcontractor, or even your material supplier and should clearly state that they have received payment, waiving any future lien rights to your property for the amount paid. If this is something you'd like to include, clearly write in your contract that your tradesperson must provide a lien waiver for each installment before you pay the next one.
As with most other stipulations, this should be worked out from the get-go, so that your contractor knows what they're getting themselves into.
As with all renovation projects, there is a chance to come up against unknown challenges. It is important to realize that you may have to change a thing or two about your project as you move down the line. As a result, it is important that you draft up a procedure for changes that states that no changes can be made to the original plan until yourself and your contractor have gone over a clear description of the new work, including all cost and schedule stipulations.
Do not make a verbal agreement! Instead, get everything in writing, as this is the only way to be certain that things will progress in the terms you have drawn up.
This may seem like an obvious thing to include on a renovation contract. However, it is still important to get detailed proof of your tradespersons licenses, including any or all specific types of licences that the project will entail. Also, worth noting is looking into the specifics of workman’s compensation and liability insurance. If your contractor gets hurt on the job, what will happen? The more you know moving into the project, the less you'll have to go up against if anything should begin to fall south.
A contract means absolutely nothing until it has been signed by both parties! After everything has been drawn up, clearly written and agreed upon, go ahead with those signatures! Now, you're ready to get that renovation project on the go! With both yourself and your tradesperson happy with the contract and the work expected, you can smoothly move into the job as if nothing could go wrong!
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