I is for the Importance of a Delay Clause in Your Remodel Contract

I is for the Importance of a Delay Clause in Your Remodel Contract

The economy is looking up, and maybe that remodeling job that you’ve been putting off is at the forefront of your mind. All kinds of creative ideas are dancing in your head: colors, design, and details. Oh, what joy it will be to have that newly overhauled kitchen or that cozy outdoor space you’ve always dreamed of having.

To ensure this process does not turn into a long, painful ordeal, be sure and do your homework.

And hire a quality contractor. Check with friends, neighbors or family that has recently made improvements to their home. Be sure to check the contractor’s reputation sites like Angie’s list or HomeAdvisor.com. These sites include post ratings and reviews for local contractors. Get written estimates from at least three reputable firms. Remember, the lowest bidder is not always the best choice.

Once you find that reliable person to do the job be sure and pay attention to your contract terms and DO negotiate to include a delay clause that ties payment to completion. By doing so, you may save yourself the aggravation of extended time delays.

A professional contractor should be able to give you a reasonable estimate of the time it will take to do the remodel. Be fair. Unforeseen problems arise. So agree to pad the time allowance by tacking on another day, week, or month, depending on the size of the job. If they seem unwilling to include this clause, you may wish to seek another contractor that will.

Here are some other tips to consider for your remodel:

Obtain proof that your contractor is currently licensed and insured.

Check with your local building department to find out about licensing requirements in your area and make sure your contractor is obtaining the necessary regulatory permits for your home improvement job.

Get a lien release from the contractor.

This will shield you from liability should the contractor fail to pay their subcontractors or materials acquired for the job.

Be sure to thoroughly read your contract.

Negotiate any changes before the final contract is signed and the project begins. Make sure the job description is accurate. Include details such as specific materials to be used, the cost and any warranty information if applicable.

Include a delay clause that is tied to the payments.

Negotiate payment terms that give you options to deduct or delay payment. If the work goes beyond the agreed upon time frame. Be specific about amounts and define your terms. Hold the final payment at an amount that will inspire job completion. No one wants to walk away from the money they have earned.

Include a termination clause.

Make sure it allows both parties to walk away without consequence should the contract be broken. Be specific. Include items like failure to pay, exceeding deadlines, poor quality of work, purchasing the wrong materials, etc.

By doing your homework and putting all your wishes and desires in writing, we hope you can sit back and enjoy your new remodel!

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