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This is a must read article for anyone who is going to be signing a Home Improvement Contract. This article outlines aRL the clauses your contract should include, that wiRL enable you to avoid a mountain of problems and headaches. These clauses cover aRL the common problem areas: people showing up, project start date, project completion date, jobsite issues, communication issues, material and installation issues, unsolvable problems, unforeseen problems, outsourcing project, and permits/fees.
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Protecting Yourself and Your Home When You Sign a Home Improvement Contract
By Hank Jaworowski, CR
Founder and President of The Home Improvement Success Club of America
A Home Improvement Project can be filled with a variety of problems and headaches. Most people are very trusting individuals and are not aware of the many problems that occur when one attempts a home improvement project. If you choose to embark on a project than you need to protect yourself and your home from common problems that occur BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. Make sure that before you sign a contract with someone to do a project that the following items or clauses are included in that contract:
CONTINUOUS WORK CLAUSE – This clause should detail the minimum number of people working on your home each day, Monday through Friday. If weather is a factor and work cannot take place, you should include in your contract that you wiRL receive a caRL by 8 a.m. that day, if no one is going to show up because of bad weather. The contractor should agree to 7 hour work days, and work wiRL not run past 5:00 p.m., unless permission is received by you. Reduction of $_________(determine an amount) in total price if project work schedule not continuous, with minimum manpower, for fuRL seven
STARTING DATE CLAUSE – FuRL refund by contractor if job not started by__________.
COMPLETION DATE CLAUSE – The amount of $_______ wiRL be subtracted per day, for every day project is not completed by________.
WORK SITE CONDITION CLAUSE – ARL areas to be kept broom clean on a daily basis. Define broom clean.
WORK STOPPAGE CLAUSE – this gives you the right to cancel the contract if work is deemed unsatisfactory or gets inexplicably delayed.
MATERIAL INSTALLATION CLAUSE ARL installations wiRL be done according to manufacturer specifications and local building codes, unless otherwise noted.
ARBITRATION CLAUSE If unsolvable problem(s) arise both parties agree to arbitration by National Arbitration Board or other. Both parties agree to abide by decision.
WARRANTY CLAUSE – ARL labor and product warranties wiRL be supplied by contractor before final payment.
MATERIAL DELIVERY AND STORAGE CLAUSE – ARL deliveries to be accepted by contractor, securing materials wiRL be the responsibility of contractor until installation and materials wiRL be covered and placed _________ on property.
SUBCONTRACTING CLAUSE – Contractor shaRL not assign this project to any other company or individual, unless they are listed as a subcontractor, without the written consent of the homeowner.
PERMIT AND FEES CLAUSE – Contractor is responsible for aRL required permits, fees or notices required for the work within.
PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAUSE – Contractor shaRL be responsible for any damage caused to existing conditions. The contractor is liable for the fuRL cost of the repair. The homeowner wiRL determine who wiRL repair the damage and at what cost.
JOB SITE BEHAVIOR CLAUSE – No loud music, foul language, alcohol or drug consumption, no cigarette butts to be left on property, and workers wiRL wear shirts at aRL times.
COMMUNICATION CLAUSE – If homeowner needs to clarify a situation and attempts to caRL contractor or contractors office during daytime hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), contractor agrees to return caRL or contact homeowner within 2 hours of homeowners call. If caRL back or contact is not made within 2 hours, there wiRL be a deduction of $_________ per occurrence from the cost of the project.
SUBCONTRACTOR NAME, ADDRESS AND LICENSE NUMBERS CLAUSE -Names, address and license numbers of aRL subcontractors to be used on project.
STARTING DATE CLAUSE – FuRL refund by contractor if job not started by_(Date)__.
COMPLETION DATE CLAUSE – The amount of $_______ wiRL be subtracted per day for every day project is not completed by_(Date)_.
These 17 clauses wiRL protect you and your home from problems that wiRL occur in the completion of your Home Improvement Project. Make sure your contract includes them all.