You don’t have to look far to see dumpsters in driveways and new framing on old houses. If you’re thinking of starting a big project and hiring a contractor, make sure you get a contract in place – in case something goes not according to your mental blueprints.
Make sure a home improvement covers all the bases and there are many. Often verbal understandings lead to court misunderstandings. “Just put in a new basic bathroom over there” may mean a quick and dirty job to the contractor, and that beautiful bathroom I saw in “Ladies Home Journal” to the home owner.
For major improvement jobs, you’re best of having an attorney review it because so much can go wrong. At the least make sure:
• Contractor has insurance for the work and workers.
• Plans are okayed by you, the contractor and architect.
• Payments for work tied to measurable progress on the job.
• Contract end date and late fees for overages.
• Complete descriptions of materials and costs.
• Permits are properly obtained.
If things go wrong mid-stream on a project, don’t wait too long to get an attorney on your side if you find you can’t go it alone.