Home and Garden

Protect Yourself from Getting Hammered by a General Contractor

Actually, when you've hired a contractor you understand very little about then until the job is completed and proven acceptable, there is likely a certain quantity of trepidation. Unless you have done your own homework. Get the facts about professional and highly experienced contractors for home renovation and addition.

In addition, there is no offense in asking for clarification of any portion of the contract you don't know. If you do not understand something or aren't in agreement, do not sign the contract! A general construction contract should include:

  • The builder's name, address, telephone number and fax number

  • A comprehensive description of all the work to be done

  • A description of materials-this comprises brand names, size, weight, color, etc.

  • Payment program. You want to cover as little upfront as possible and make payments during the course of this project with the right to withhold payment if at any moment the job does not meet your satisfaction. Do not agree to finance arrangements you cannot afford.

  • Any guarantees that the contractor is making or warranties regarding the workmanship

  • An announcement letting you cancel the contract based on the laws of your state.

  • A statement allowing you to cancel the contract following work has started if you find hidden or unexpected issues once the job has been started.

  • The contractor's responsibility to secure permits; should you have to get the license, does not sign!

  • The law and bonding quantities of the contractor

  • The contractor is responsible for paying any subcontractors, supply expenses, equipment rentals, etc. until you make the last payment. If that is not completed, you become liable for the charges!