Before you begin any project on your home, know that any reputable contractor should have a contract. In fact, in the State of Oregon, a contract is required if the amount of work exceeds $2,000.00. You should ask for a contract for many reasons, the largest is to protect you and your home, to insure the work you wanted done will get done, and to avoid misunderstandings on either side.
1. The actual contract
A contract is to protect all parties involved. Hand shakes do not actually work anymore, they will not protect you or your family if something does go wrong.
2. Your physical address
While we, as your contractor, may be working on a second home, you should see the physical address where all work is to take place. You also want to see the contractors address.
3. Scope of work to be performed
A contract is only as good as the information that is provided. If your scope of work is not detailed, question why? Make sure that any plans for the space are detailed and have your address and name on them, they should also contain the design firm or contractors name. Look at your scope of work and make sure that the products you asked for are being used.
Specktacular Home Remodeling does a detailed schedule for every job. The schedule shows you who will be working on your site, the amount of time it should take for the work to be completed, a start day and end day. This should be a must, and a minimum. We do this for many reasons, we like our clients to know who is in their home on a daily basis, and when to expect us to be out of their home. The only thing that will change this schedule is the client changing the scope of work or something that is out of our control (weather is a great example).
Why mention exclusions? Because we need to. Exclusions usually include things like, removing areas and not knowing what is not visible to us. Many times, we can make some assumptions knowing the age of the home. This is when your contingency budget may be needed. There are times, that no one will see the extent of damage until everything in the room has been removed.
We are required by the EPA to do asbestos and lead testing on every house built prior to certain years. This testing is not negotiable and requires us to have certified, trained employees to handle the testing. Depending on the test results, it may also require a special abatement crew to remove debris from your home.
For our company, we put these on the job schedule. That way the customer and our employees know when a payment is due, and the employee can collect the money to return it to the office. Our company ties payments into each major function that is happening. You as the client should also know that there should be some portion of your contracted price that will not be paid until ‘substantial completion’. Under no circumstance should you be expected to pay all a contracted price or more than half. (The only exception would be if it is a small job and most of the money is for materials).
Most companies offer a one-year warranty for failure of materials. The warranty usually is marked by substantial completion of the job, however, a great company, will often extend this warranty knowing that they have few jobs they need to return to.
While we hold a state license, many cities require that you also hold another license with them as well. Check and make sure your contractor has the correct licenses in place, do not assume that they do. As a homeowner, you are able to check your contractor’s license online to ensure it is active and in good standing. In Oregon you must also pass a test and do minimum continuing educational classes.
Does your contractor have the proper insurance that is required? Will the insurance cover the amount of work that may be done in your home? Do they have workers compensation for their employees? These are all questions that should be answered in your contract.