Remodeling Paperwork: What you can expect, what SHOULD you expect?

From on March 04, 2008 in General

Remodeling Paperwork

A binding contract is defined simply as an agreement either oral or written between two consenting adults of sound mind. It doesn’t have to be anything long or complicated, just a promise to do something for something in return. You don’t need to hire an attorney, or go to a lot of expense, only be sure you’ve covered the basics.

So before beginning your remodel, what information should be included in your contract?


  • All of the contractor’s contact information, including name, address, office, and cell number.
  • The contractor’s state license number, as well as the company he is bonded with.
  • Your project’s time frame, including start and finish dates.
  • Cost of debris removal.
  • Material and labor costs.
  • Draw schedule - time and method of payment.
  • A “right to cancel” clause will give you three days to change your mind after the contract is signed.

Depending on the size and extent of your project, most contracts will probably not include much more than what is listed above. The following link has an example of a contract that breaks down in detail each step of the project, the expectations for the contractor, your own responsibilities, and clauses designed to protect you from liability. To ensure your own protection, only sign a complete contract, keep a copy, only pay a minimum down payment, and do not pay the balance until all the work is completed. You may consider adding additional provisions for terminating the contract such as shabby work, not completing the work in time, or requesting more money than agreed upon.

Before reaching your signed agreement, take the time to think of any foreseeable conflicts or problems that may arise pertinent to your particular project. You can compose your own contract, or discuss your concerns ahead of time with your contractor. Hiring a pre-screened contractor starts you in the right direction, and adds even more recourse for you if things go wrong. Request a free estimate from one of our certified contractors today to ensure your project runs seamlessly.

Beyond the initial contract, the other paperwork you should encounter will be a set of approved plans, the proper permits, and inspection tags. Any legitimate contractor should insist on only working on projects with the proper permits. It’s not worth the headache, delay, and fines associated with an illegal project to try to skirt the proper channels. Your project will go through a series of inspections from the building department; and after each your contractor will receive either a green tag to continue or a red tag to fix a problem. This process provides additional assurance that your project is being completed properly and to code.