Once you've picked a renovator, work should not begin until you have reviewed and signed a written contract that spells out in detail the what, where, how, time span, and cost of your renovation.
Your contract should include:
- The renovator's name, address, telephone number, and license number (if applicable).
- A visual representation - blueprint, floor plan, sketches - that shows what the renovator will do and where.
- The timetable for the project, including approximate start and completion dates.
- The price and payment schedule.
- Detailed specifications for all products and materials. The description of each item should provide enough detail to clearly identify it, such as the brand name, model number, color, and size. This section of the contract may also describe any materials that will be selected later, who will choose them, and the amount of money (allowance) set aside to pay for each item.
- Information on who will obtain and pay for necessary permits and other approvals.
- Insurance information.
- Procedures for handling change orders.
- Lien releases to ensure that you are not held liable for any third-party claims of nonpayment.
- Provisions for conflict resolution in the event of a contract dispute.
- Details on issues like access to your home, care of the premises, and cleanup and trash removal.
Once you read your renovation contract carefully, review it with your renovator to clarify any wording you do not understand.