What Should Be in a Contract for Remodeling or Home Building

Whether you’re remodeling your home or building new, the contract will guide the project, help prevent miscommunications and surprises, and protect both parties. Having details and expectations in writing at the beginning makes it easier to fulfill those expectations. Many homeowners ask what should be in a contract, because they want to know they can trust their contractor.

Some requirements can vary by state and project type, but there are several universal elements that should always be included.

What Should Be in a Contract:

  • The Details of the Remodeling Project. The final contract price must be listed. The contract should outline what will be demolished and how the contractor will dispose of debris, what will be built and installed, and all the materials and fixtures. The contractor also may list any major exclusions, so you aren’t surprised by what the contractor does not plan to do.
  • Legal Protection. Will they obtain all necessary permits and certificates of occupancy? Is the project covered by workman’s compensation and liability insurance? Will they provide lien waivers? A remodeling contract should answer these questions.
  • Payment Plan. In addition to the total cost, the contract should state how the customer will pay. How many payments will there be? At which points during the project will payments be made?
  • Work Schedule. Start dates and end dates will be approximate and subject to change due to weather, surprises, or changes to the plan. It’s still important for both parties to know when each phase of the project is expected to happen.
  • How to Handle Changes. What procedure is required for change orders?
  • The Owner’s Duties. Sometimes the owner chooses to supply labor or materials. The owner is also expected to supply certain things to keep a project on schedule, like unobstructed access to the project site and removal of hazardous materials.
  • For a contract to be legally binding, both parties must sign.
  • Contract Attachments. Information may be attached to the contract, such as an itemized breakdown of project costs, a financial disclosure statement, final drawings and specifications, and the customer’s right to cancel.

New construction of a home is a bigger undertaking. As such, the contract will reflect the additional project descriptions and contingencies.

Dimension, Inc. uses the official contracts provided by the Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee (MBA) for home build projects, and the Milwaukee Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for remodeling projects.

In addition, David Kallie, company owner, is a Certified Remodeler through NARI, plus he is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist through the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Maintaining these designations that were earned after completing study groups and passing exams requires David to complete continuing education within the remodeling and home building industries on an annual basis.

Before any project begins, we will carefully go through the contract with you. We’re happy to answer any questions and make sure we all agree on project details and expectations, for the foundation of a successful remodel or build. Call us at 262-402-6602 or complete our contact form to get started.