Remodeling a home is often more expensive and time-consuming than homeowners initially expect. However, renovation projects can help add value to your home whether you plan to sell it or continue living in it. You may decide that the investment is worth pursuing – but any investment involves risk.
Renovations are unique because your contractors must work around the challenges of an existing structure. There may be surprises along the way. However, your contract can offer some protection to reduce potential problems as these surprises arise.
Set expectations early in the project
Companies, especially small businesses, might use contract templates that they find online. However, these templates might contain serious issues that may affect your control over the project. With the high stakes and costs of major home improvement projects in Louisiana, it is important to get professional guidance before signing a contract.
Your attorney can help you customize a contract for your project and home by considering:
- Deliverables: By the end of the project, your contractor must fulfill their obligations, but their only obligations are the terms of the contract. These terms might detail flooring replacement, completion of an add-on bathroom, insulation upgrade and other specific project work.
- Materials: As fully as possible, specify which materials you expect the contractor to use for flooring, fixtures, appliances, finishes and more. Your materials can have a significant impact on the overall project costs.
- Timing: How long will the project last? There may be situations that warrant a deadline extension.
- Insurance and liability: Determine which types of insurance and permits may be necessary.
- Payment: When will the contractor receive payment, and what does the payment include?
- Special cases: If the required work changes, you may need to modify the contract to include these new tasks and expenses.
If your project leads to a dispute with your contractor, looking back at the original contract will be the first step toward figuring out a resolution. There may also be additional issues that your attorney can assist you with, including financing. Ultimately, planning carefully can help you make the most of the investment in your renovation project.