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The information provided is not meant to be a substitute for legal advice.
- The company name, address, phone number and the full name and license number of the builder/contractor and/or the salesperson.
- Detailed job specifications which include a description (brand names, colors, grades, styles and model numbers) of materials, a list of all costs spelled out clearly, and any architects or engineers drawings which are required.
- Start and completion dates. These should allow for any reasonable delays but should include a clause allowing you to withhold payment if work slows down for no apparent reason.
- A statement that all required building permits and variances will be obtained by the contractor before work is begun. The building permit is for your protection. An inspector will make sure the finished job meets all codes and safety standards, and makes the contractor responsible for corrections.
- A guarantee that the contractor carry liability insurance and has Workers Compensation coverage, in case of accidents on the job.
- A statement of warranty on the work. Be sure it tells if labor and materials are guaranteed, and for how long. A statement that cleanup will be done by the contractor should be allowed.
- A provision for credits if there are large amounts of materials left over. On the other hand, you should be prepared to pay for extra materials if the project takes more than anticipated. Your builder should provide you with a description of these extra costs in writing, so that there are no surprises on your final bill.
- The terms of payment should be clearly stated in the contract.
- A right to cancel clause. If you are solicited and have signed the contract in your home, you have three days to cancel the contract if you change your mind. You must send the contractor a registered letter stating you wish to cancel.
- If everything in the agreement is satisfactory, both the contractor and the homeowner must sign and date the contract. Any changes or revisions must be dated and initialed by both parties.
- Be sure that the contractor gives you a copy of the contract, with any changes noted.