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Items To Include In Renovation Contracts When Remodelling
You will know that a renovation contract is the single most important item if you had hired someone to remodel your home before. It is often the first line of defence and in many cases, the only line of defence, when issues run up with contractors on a mismatch of expectations. The purpose of a legal contract is to spell out the who, where, what, when, how of all parties involved in the agreement. So this is not the time to be vague and imagine that some things are implied. Be explicit because more often than not, relationships with your contractor will be challenging once the works get under way. Friction often occour at around the 75% completed stage. This is when the final form of the works start to show and home owners do not like what they see. And this is also when you will scrutinize the initial contract to support your expectations.
Here are items to consider including in your contracts.
- Name, registered address, license number (if applicable) and company registration number of contractor.
- Name of property owner, address of property and type of property
- Description overview of the project
- List all the work that will be undertaken by the contractor. Include the specifications and warranties. If you want to go the extra mile, also list down works that will not be undertaken by the contractor.
- Include the layout floor plan with overlays of the work at completion. This can be a sketch, blueprint or just a simple floor plan.
- Specify a time frame whereby the works will be completed with specific milestones to be achieved by certain dates. You might also want to include conditions that has to be met for the completion date to be met. For example, bad weather.
- Payment schedule for the project with a mention of how much deposit has already been paid.
- Damages liable for unreasonably late completion, or other scenarios you specify. These are for breach of contract.
- Who is responsible to obtain building permits from relevant authorities and who is to pay for the costs incurred. Since we are on this point, you might also want to include a section mentioning that the contractor agrees to comply with all safety, health, and building standards and regulaions.
- Insurance that the project requires. This include those for the contractor’s employees, sub-contractors, liability insurance and even home owners insurance.
- Conditions of unforeseen circumstances that will require an increase in the price of the project.
- Who will be responsible for the handling and costs if hazardous materials are uncovered during works.
- Free-look period. This is a clause that allows you to back out of hiring the contractor within a stipulated timeframe without incurring damages.
- Guarantees and warranties of each item.
- Time slots whereby workers can gain access to the work area and the hours they can carry out noisy works.
- No access to rooms and areas that are not part of the project to undergo renovation. Contractor will be held liable if these areas are damaged.
- Specify whether workers can use your toilets and telephone.
- Whether smoking is allowed in the work area.
- Debris and trash removal. The responsibilities of the contractor to remove work debris from the premises without causing inconvenience to neighbours.
- Place to store personal property if workers encounter them during renovations.