When it comes to home improvement, you should never assume everyone is on the same page; that is, until everyone’s signatures are on the same page.
Before the hammers start swinging, you and your pros should sit down and not only discuss the terms of the projects, but agree to them in writing.
You can’t spell contractor without contract, and for good reason.’
No matter the size or scope of your home improvement project, a contract should always be drawn up and agreed on.
Bailey Carson, home care expert from Ask Angi says every home project, no matter the size or scope, can benefit from the security of a contract.
“You might feel for simpler projects it’s unnecessary, but remember, it protects both the homeowner and the pro,” Carson says. “Every project shouldn’t really start until you have a contract signed.”
Beyond just protection, a contract serves as proof that both parties agree on what is happening, how long it should take, how much it will cost, payment arrangements and more.
“Make sure your contract includes the pro’s license number, a full project description including timeline and budget, the names of parties involved and how to handle unexpected costs or delays, in case they come up,” Carson says.
And be cautious.
If you are not given a timeline for the job to be completed, this may indicate the contractor has several current jobs and may not complete yours in a timely manner.
It is also a good idea to keep track of important information by keeping job-related documents such as contracts, payments and receipts in one place.
Be sure to also record key contact information for everyone working on your project.
Carson says the contract is your best defense if something goes wrong during your project.
Read the entire document and address anything that seems out of place.
Remember, a contract is legally binding, so you need to make sure it represents your best interests and expectations.