Remodeling Contracts: What to Know
Know your rights before you sign a contract with a general contractor.
Reviewing Remodeling Contracts
Take time to review remodeling contracts before signing them to make sure they follow the law. Your remodeling contracts should have the following items:
- The sale price and actual dollar amount of the services
- The stipulation that no changes will be made to the project by the contractor or the homeowner without a written change order
For more resources on selecting a remodeler, see this remodeling a bathroom guide tip from NARI:
The first thing you may want to do when thinking about remodeling your home is to research the local city and county laws that cover basic changes to a house. The last thing you want to do is start a project, only to discover that you were in violation of city building codes. Even when using a contractor, it’s important to do some research beforehand.
Here are some remodeling tips from the city of Boston, MA.
The Planning Stages of Home Remodeling
You may find it necessary to enlist the help of a contractor when remodeling your kitchen. You may need a work island, a new counter top, and some cabinet work. These changes may require some basic structural changes to the layout of your kitchen. Here is a checklist to get ready to hire a general contractor:
- Make sure the contractor is insured.
- Check references and visit past projects.
- Get a quote for the total price.
- Get all relevant dates pertaining to the job, e.g., when the contractor will start and finish.
- Ask the contractor what permits will be needed to do the work; take a second look if the contractor asks you to pull the permits yourself.
Additionally, check out the Home Improvement Contractor Guarantee Fund for homeowners in the Boston area. It is easily the best form of protection for your home remodeling project.
Check out your local contractors’ association, such as your local chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). They have many resources for people who want to remodel – and it doesn’t matter how big the job is. They are a very helpful collection of contractors; even if you use a professional from elsewhere, they provide a list of very important questions to ask the contractor before they start work. NARI has great resources for specific remodeling jobs – kitchen, bathroom, family room, and many more. NARI professional contractors are very trustworthy given the strict membership requirements.