How To Avoid Disputes With A Remodeling Contractor
Remodeling projects can increase your home's comfort level, utility, and resale value, as long as you hire the right contractor and there are no costly setbacks to deal with. When you hire a general contractor, you and he will sign a contract agreeing on the terms of the service, including pay, scheduling, and possible repercussions if terms are breached. The agreement may take a lot of time to sort out before the work of the remodeling even starts, but it will be well worth your time and money to be extra thorough during the agreement process and the events leading up to it. Here are the steps you should take to avoid legal disputes with the contractor later on.
Step 1: Do some intensive shopping.
When you meet the prospective contractors during the next step, you will ask him about the cost of the materials for the project, the equipment he uses, the labor he hires, and the process through which he will carry out the work you would hire him for. Once you have gathered the cost figures for materials, you should compare the rates with those that you have found during your own research.
It's important to know whether the contractor will lay out in detail the exact nature of his project expenses and labor rates or whether he will look for any chance to hide the true nature of costs from you. Gather all the pricing and material cost information you need in order to scrutinize the contractor's fees.
Step 2: Interview and vet contractors in person.
Conduct a genuine, yet professional interview with each contractor and have specific questions prepared. You should know the nature of the contractor's fees, and especially whether or not those figures represent the total extent of your costs.
Step 3: Get help drafting the agreement.
Hire a lawyer with ample experience working in residential construction law. Such an attorney will ensure that the process is done for your benefit. While contractors certainly have experience writing up such agreements, many of them only include the bare minimum of language that the law requires, as opposed to the provisions and conditions that would serve to protect you and your assets in the case of a dispute. With the attorney's help, include language and provisions that detail a payment schedule, labor oversight, workplace demeanor, and a project deadline. Having those items clearly included in the agreement, reviewed by an attorney and then signed by you and the contractor will make for a far less risky project.
The whole process of remodeling is intensive and often very daunting, especially for those that have never been through this sort of process before. There are many other homeowners that now follow a similarly thorough process because they have had to learn the hard way. Fortunately, with this information, you can complete a remodeling job right the first time without having to go through months of legal proceedings as others have had to do.
For more information, contact general contractors in your area, like Countertops & Laminated Specialties Inc.