Last modified: 2020-03-06 | Approximate reading time 3 mins
As a contractor, you are familiar with the routine practice of getting your customers to sign contracts. Of course, managing this paperwork is not really fun and this can lead you to question whether it is truly necessary for every situation.
Although we can understand that it can be tempting to avoid this issue, keep in mind that signing an official contract may help you avoid several problems.
At the forefront of any renovation project is the client’s vision and what they hope to achieve as a final result. This ideal outcome involves various aspects and an infinite amount of details, many of which can be interpreted in several ways throughout a discussion. This paves the way for several misunderstandings, each party having their version of what was agreed upon.
Avoiding this type of disagreement is the main reason why signing a contract in due form is highly recommended. Having everything written down helps ensure that all parties will share the same vision of the project and what is included or not in the price that you have quoted. Moreover, this also allows you to plan a timeline that will satisfy both parties and ensure that the client is aware of the project’s estimated duration.
Consequently, it should be repeated that a contract also allows you to write down a schedule that establishes the moments when the different payments should be completed and the modalities that they entail. Apart from the things that we have mentioned previously, other elements must be included in the contract to avoid miscommunications.
For a complete list, check out our article What to include in a home renovation contract. To make sure that you don’t forget one or several elements, do not hesitate to have a colleague or a trusted person cross-check your contract. Also, make sure to know what you can do if you have trouble getting paid by clients.
Need advice on how to present a price to your clients? Check out our article about this subject!
In keeping with the previous idea regarding the importance of avoiding misunderstandings, it should be repeated that an official contract containing all the information and relevant details will reduce the chances that you end up in court. You will agree that this is a major advantage!
Indeed, if your contract has been filled out properly, it will offer extra protection concerning improper claims. Moreover, it will be easier to defend yourself if you have concrete proof of the agreement that was established between yourself and the client.
If you are unsure of what the contract should include and how it should look, there are plenty of examples available on the internet. Check out the CHBA (Canadian Home Builder’s Association) website here.
Any experienced contractor will know that unforeseen situations can happen over the course of a renovation project, whether due to pre-existing issues, unfavourable weather conditions or extra delays in receiving the building materials.
If this situation seems to match what you’ve experienced, such is not the case for your clients. Therefore, unexpected issues popping up during the project can lead to a highly negative response on their part, namely because of the consequences of these issues.
Of course, learning that the project will last longer than planned is never good news, as it is synonymous with extra spending and extended waiting time before you get to see the final result.
Although it is impossible to anticipate all unplanned issues that could occur during the project, you can always include a clause in the renovation contract which says that modifications to initial plans, as well as extra work, will have to be authorized by the homeowner before they are carried out.
By having your client sign this type of clause and making sure to observe it, you will avoid situations where the person could take you to court for the work that wasn’t written down, as well as the initial costs that are associated.
Although a verbal agreement between yourself and your client can be perceived as being valid in the eyes of the law, proving that you have received their authorization to complete extra work can be very difficult if there is no written proof. A client who acts in bad faith could refuse to cover the costs of the extra work, even if they previously agreed to it.
RenoQuotes.com can help you get clients. We get requests from clients looking for trusted home renovation professionals just like you. Fill out the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive information on how to get new clients for your renovation company through our service.
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