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Remodel Start to Finish: Contracts

Taking on home improvement can be an overwhelming process. Resident Expert Gregg Cantor, who is also president of Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel, walks us through what should be included in a home improvement contract and how to protect yourself as a homeowner.

There is specific contract law that applies to home improvements.  As a homeowner, this protects you, but due diligence helps ensure you have a great remodeling experience.

1. Make sure everything is in writing and you have a clear understanding of what you are getting.

2. If the contractor is providing finishes like tile, stone or cabinets, there should be specific call outs or allowances to cover what you want.  Allowances are the dollar amount allowed for certain items.  Don’t assume the contractor has provided enough money in the budget.

3. Expect a detailed scope of work that is understandable in homeowner’s terms.  It should be a word picture of what the entire project is.

4. Don’t ever be pressured into signing a contract without fully understanding what is included.  If by chance you have regrets, contract law requires that you receive a 3 day right to cancel.  That means you have 3 business days to change your mind.

Entering into a home improvement contract is a leap of faith by both parties.  It a long term relationship somewhat like a marriage.  With open communication, the experience will be fun and exciting.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions…there are no dumb ones.

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