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What should you look for in a contract?

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Joined: Aug 6 2006

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)

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction."-E. F. Schumacher.

Joined: Apr 2 2003

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.


eichfan at rawbw dot com

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