Projects & Contracts
The success of your project depends on good preparation and smart planning. Visit our EM NARI pages for the latest resources, tips, trends, design, green, universal, and lead safety information. The more you know, the smoother the remodeling process will be.
Remodeling is defined as changing the form or structure of something, typically an existing building rather than constructing an entirely new building. Your project might entail remodeling an entire home, adding square footage or reconfiguring space within the existing footprint. Here are some spaces typically remodeled in homes, but certainly not limited to only these:
- Exterior enhancements
- Dining/Living/family rooms
- Laundry rooms
- Specialty: staircases, closets
Want to know more about design? Trends? Costs? Visit our Homeowner resource pages.
The contract is a critical step in any remodeling project. This is the one item that holds the job together and ensures that all parties involved agree to the same vision and scope for the project. Any remodeling project over $1,000 requires a written contract. Further, any deposit collected in advance of work starting cannot exceed 1/3 of the total contract price.
Elements of the contract:
- Be sure the contract includes the contractor’s name, address, phone and license number (if applicable), and your correct name and address.
- The contract should include the scope of the project and what the contractor will and will not do.
- The contractor should detail a list of materials for the project in the contract. This includes size, color, model, brand name and product.
- The contract should include the approximate start date and substantial completion dates.
- Ask for all plans and make sure that they are identified in the written contract before any work begins.
- Federal law requires a contractor to provide written notice of your right to, without penalty, cancel a contract within three business days of signing it. This is provided it was solicited at some place other than the contractor’s place of business or an appropriate trade premises such as your home, for instance, or has a financing provision.
- Make sure financial terms are understood and spelled out in the contract. The total price, payment schedule, and any cancellation penalty should be clear.
- A warranty covering materials and workmanship for a minimum of one year should be written into the contract. The warranty must be identified as either “full” or “limited.” The name and address of the party who will honor the warranty (contractor, distributor or manufacturer) must be identified. Make sure the time period for the warranty is specified.
- A binding arbitration clause is also a good inclusion in the event a disagreement occurs. Arbitration may enable you to resolve disputes without costly litigation.
- Consider the scope of the project and make sure all items you have requested are included.
- Make sure you thoroughly review the entire contract and understand it before signing.