I looked through the archives and noticed that no one has posted what they should have in their contract when hiring a contractor so I thought I would add my list and perhaps others would do the same...Hopefully this will help. If anyone would like to add to this that would be great!
-Name, address, and license # of contractor/designer
-Address of project
-Name and address of owner/client
-Date of contract
- A detailed description of work
-Compensation or Payment (and payment schedule)…I recommend withholding a certain amount of final payment until all of the terms as described in the description of work is complete. Fixed fees are typical.
-Method for processing additional services/change orders…sometimes unforeseen things get revealed during the construction process that need to be addressed.
-Method for termination of the contract at any time during the execution of the contract.
-Signatures of both the owner and contractor/designer (and date of signature)
You will find a host of great informational pamplets (downloadable/printable) at the state government's Contractor State Licence Board (CSLB) .
The list includes the following, to name just a few:
- What You Should Know Before You Hire a Contractor (Booklet)
- A Consumer Guide to Home Improvement Contracts - Terms of Agreement (This one includes the sort of information you've posted.)
- A Homeowner's Guide to Preventing Mechanic's Liens (This can happen if you pay a general contractor and they don't pay their subs. I highly recommend reading and understanding liens.)
The CSLB site is also the one I keep mentioning people should check for the license status of any contractor they're thinking of hiring.