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Construction Law

: Home Contractor vs. Homeowner

Top Ten Clauses to Have in Your Contract-The Contractor

By Andrea Goldman, Esq.

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As a post for starting off the new year, I have been thinking about the most important clauses to have in home contractor contracts. So, in an attempt to add to the top ten lists that are generated at this time of year, here is my list for contractors:

1. ALL CHANGE ORDERS MUST BE IN WRITING AND INITIALED BY BOTH THE HOMEOWNER AND THE CONTRACTOR! Should I say it again?

2. The contract should clearly spell out the price for the job along with a clear cut payment schedule.

3. The contractor should list reasonable start dates and end dates for the project with exceptions for delays caused by unforseen circumstances or homeowner delay.

4. The contractor should include a provision that will allow him or her to collect attorney's fees if he has to pursue payment from the homeowner.

5. There should be a complete description of the scope of the work and the materials to be used.

6. The contractor should ask the homeowner to designate who the decision makers are and make that person's cell phone number and/or e-mail address available to the contractor.

7. The contractor should include a clause about what constitutes breach of the contract and what the remedy will be if the homeowner breaches.

8. Warranties should be clearly spelled out and include the items that are not covered as well as covered items.

9. The contractor should decide whether he wants to include a mediation and/or arbitration clause in the contract.

10. And finally, the contract should include a detailed description of what constitutes punch list items and how to determine when the punch list is complete in order for final payment to be made.

I am sure there are more, but these are what come to mind for how contractors can best protect themselves. Tomorrow I will list my top ten from the homeowner's side.

Happy New Year!

Full post as published by Home Contractor vs. Homeowner on December 31, 2007 (boomark / email).

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