BEFORE you sign the dotted line...
Are you sure you know what goes into
a good remodeling contract? Unfortunately, most homeowners don't, and that's one reason disputes and problems
If your construction contract is weak, you're flirting with disaster. You invite misunderstandings with
your contractor, and hurt your chances of resolving any disputes later.
Fortunately, Smart Consumer Services has a Sample Contract
Package... that includes basic elements of a good contract, including language
that will protect your rights as a customer. The Sample Contract Package contains
certain things that any well-informed consumer should know, including:
- Details: that too-often get left out of contracts, such as
what the contractor will do, and by when, with a schedule of completion milestones and paydowns.
Clear language ensures that both homeowner and contractor understand and agree on
what's expected--right from the beginning.
- Specifications: on materials and fixtures.
The SCS Sample Contract provides places to specify the precise materials and products
you want, including brand names and model numbers, which reduces opportunities to substitute
lower quality items without your consent.
- Warranties: on workmanship and products.
You'll get basic warranty language that the contractor should provide and supplement as required
by state law.
- Liens and waivers: The SCS Sample Contract includes various approaches
that can protect you, as an owner, from the possibility of being billed twice for the same work, or from having a
lien placed on your home by a sub-contractor or supplier who may not have been paid by the
- Other essential provisions: Including
mediation or arbitration language, financial agreements, Change-Order forms, and more basic neccessities
of a sound contract.
How to Order the Sample Contract
1 - Call the Smart Consumer Services
2 - Or use our
SECURE online order form.
The complete Sample Contract Package costs as
little as $24.95 if ordered by e-mail. Also available by fax or by U.S. Postal Service for an additional charge.
Other Important Reminders:
- Smart Consumer Services always recommends that you get your contract reviewed by an attorney, before you sign it.
- The Smart Consumer Service's
Contract Advocacy Review is NOT a legal review but it can
clarify and untangle your contract language, identify potential red flags, and help to protect your rights.
- Smart Consumer Services always urges homeowners to thoroughly investigate references for any
potential contracting company, BEFORE hiring them. For more information, see
How to Hire a Contractor.
- If you don't have time to check a company's references yourself, Smart Consumer Services can
do it for you. For more information, see
Contractor Reference Check & Report.
The national homeowner advocacy organizations, United Homeowners Association and
American Homeowners Association, have endorsed the Smart Consumer Services Contract
Advocacy Review and Contractor Reference Check. Our services have been noted in major publications including Bob Vila's American Home, American HomeStyle & Gardening, Professional Remodeler,
Smart Money, Qualified Remodeler, Reader's Digest Books and other publications.
© 2002 Smart Consumer Services. All Rights Reserved.
This material is not in the public domain. Neither this material, nor any part of this material, may be reproduced, sold, re-sold, posted, directly linked, framed, traded, incorporated within other material, or given away without the express written permission of the Smart Consumer Services.