Legal Advisor – Get it in writing

Get it in WritingRecently I have been asked questions by people having work done on their homes. Sometimes it is a full remodeling, sometimes it is serious repairs or maybe a new water heater or air conditioning unit. My answer is always the same, for any project or purchase or workers hired —   
An oral contract is not worth the paper it’s written on – it turns into a “he promised me this”, “she promised me that”. To lock in your understanding of the job, as well as the understanding of the person you are hiring,  

Drafting an Agreement

Every Contract “must have”

1. Name of owner, address.
2. Project site, name of Contractor, subcontractors license numbers and addresses. A background check on Contractors is always recommended.
3. Start date and completion date including hours and dates workers will be working.
4. Detailed description of the job to be performed often referred to as “Scope of Work” and should be as descriptive as possible.
5. Detailed description of products, colors, supplies and materials with specifications if possible. Have a drawing, put it in.
6. Permits, if needed.
7. Total costs of the job including labor and materials, taxes, permit fees etc.

  • Payment schedule, small incremental payments are best. A deposit up front, a percentage to cover materials, a percentage upon full completion. I recommend holding back at least ten percent until the job is fully completed to your satisfaction.
  • Release of all Liens, prior to making the final payment.

Remember the contract cannot be too detailed, the more terms you “nail down” the less there will be to argue about later and the job can be completed to everyone’s satisfaction.

With regard to changes while the project is ongoing, I recommend stating in the contract: “The owner and the contractor expressly agree that no material changes will be made unless there is an agreement in writing signed by the parties.”

If you are working on a substantial construction job or remodel, I recommend asking an attorney to draft or review the contract as terms and conditions can get tricky. I would be happy to be of assistance. Liat Cohen 818 579 9996

Please contact us for advice at 818.579.9996



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Feel free to reach out to Liat for a free initial consultation to discuss how she can help you solve your legal problems.

    2020-05-02T13:38:28-07:00April 30th, 2020|