When you hire a general contractor for a remodeling job, they will generally provide you with a contract to sign. While the remodeling contract presented by your general contractor may actually be fine as is, you still need to check it carefully before you sign anything. If hiring an attorney to peruse the contract just isn't in the budget right now, you can look for the important points yourself. Keep reading to learn about the three things that your contract with a general contractor should include.
The total cost for the remodeling job should be spelled out in the contract. Ideally, this cost will be itemized so you can see exactly where the money will go. This itemization is usually broken into categories including:
- Building materials
- Equipment rentals
- Building permits
- Contractor labor
- Sub-contractor labor
The general contractor is typically responsible for all of the above things, and possibly more, depending upon the complexity of the remodel. Since cost overruns are a possibility in most remodeling jobs, the contract should also spell out exactly how cost overruns will be handled. Your contractor should always contact you when they become aware of extra costs, so you can decide if you can afford it.
The payment schedule for a remodeling job can vary widely by contractor. Look for a schedule that allows you to pay in increments. You should never pay the total cost up front.
Usually, a payment schedule include:
- A down payment: This may be equal to as much as half the total cost of the remodel.
- Incremental payments: These payments may be made every week or two weeks until the job is completed.
- A final payment: The final payment should not be scheduled until the job is complete. This last payment should equal at least 10 percent of the total.
The Time Frame
The general contractor should give you a specific time frame for job completion within the contract. This time frame could be anywhere from days to months, but it is important that they make some type of promise regarding completion time.
The contract should state what your compensation will be if the job is not completed on time. For example, a contract may state that the general contractor will forfeit a certain percentage of the labor costs if the job isn't completed in the stated time frame.
Hiring a general contractor, such as Superior Buildings & Design Ltd, is a big decision, and it is important that you protect yourself fully when you do so. Be sure to look for the three items listed above in your contract. If these things aren't present in the contract, ask to have them added. This will help ensure a harmonious relationship with your general contractor—and a remodel that you will love!