Typically, a contract is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions a party must follow in an agreement.
Now, that’s a lot of legal-sounding mumbo jumbo. Remodeling your home may not be as binding as a marriage contract or a will, but contracts are still involved.
The contract for a home remodeling project (also referred to as a project quote or proposal) is a document you need that clearly outlines your project and what is expected of you and the company you work with.
Whether you’ve met with a home remodeling contractor already or are just preparing with thorough research, knowing what should be included in your project’s contract is essential to finding the right contractor to meet your needs.
As a San Antonio home remodeling contractor since 1989, Southwest Exteriors understands the importance of thorough, detailed proposals.
Without a detailed proposal outlining all aspects of your project, you are left with questions and open-ended expectations, which are never a good thing.
While our project proposals outline the full extent of your project, not all companies do the same. No matter the company you work with, you need to know what to look for in a project proposal to find the best company you can trust.
This article will outline nine things that must be included in any home remodeling project’s contract, like the cost breakdown, installation information, and more.
After reading, you’ll be able to look at any project contract and determine if it is fully outlined and includes all your project details. Then, you can find a trustworthy contractor that will provide a successful project.
9 Things That Must Be Included in a Remodeling Contract
Like any contract or agreement, you want to have every detail outlined and finalized.
When things are missing from a contract, it leaves room for misinterpretation and the possibility of one party taking advantage of another.
As a homeowner, you never want to be taken advantage of by a contractor. But sadly, it is not uncommon in this industry.
So, having the right knowledge and information is your key defense mechanism against a faulty contractor that may take advantage of you. This includes knowing what to look for in a project contract.
What should be included in a home remodeling project proposal? Here are nine key things:
Details of your products
Cost and cost breakdown of your project
Terms and conditions of the sale
Any change orders to your project
Let’s outline each of these further to better understand each part's importance in your project proposal.
1. The products details of your project
The first thing a contract must include is the details of your products. No matter what type of remodeling project you have done, you want to have all details of what you discussed with a consultant outlined in this contract.
Product details that should be included are the product type, measurements of the product, customizations of the product, the brand, and all other details that you discussed and chose for your project.
Overall, you want this section of a project contract to be as detailed and descriptive as possible. Then, you have a contract outlining exactly what you asked for and expect for your project, and there is no room left for misinterpretation or mishaps with your products.
2. Installation details
After product details on your proposal, it should also include the installation details so you know what to expect for the installation date.
Some installation details include where the product will be installed, how the company will handle installing your products in your home, and any details you may need to be aware of, such as if you need to remove any items or reinstall alarm systems after installation.
Other installation details you want to be included in your project are the standards of installation for the products and any limitations or specs necessary for installation, like the area required for the size of the product.
Details of your project’s installation are important as part of the contract, so the contractor is held accountable for their work and promises to follow through with their word.
3. The total cost and cost breakdown of your project
The cost breakdown of your project is one of the most important parts of a project proposal, right after the product specifications.
The total cost of your project should be included in any proposal. But, your proposal should also have a breakdown of where those costs are allocated, like the product, installation, labor, fees, and more.
You want a cost breakdown so you can understand what additional costs may be added on top of the cost of your products and what they are. This then provides you with a clear understanding of the cost of your project and where your money is going.
4. Warranty information
For the products of your project, you will most likely receive warranty paperwork once the installation is complete. This is also true for the warranty of the contractor that installed them.
But, in your project proposal, you also want a brief warranty outline in the terms and conditions to know the warranty for your project.
The warranty information won’t be as detailed in the proposal as the actual warranty paperwork is. However, it will still outline the type of warranty included in your project (lifetime warranty, limited warranty, 15-year warranty, etc.).
5. Financing information
Whether you choose to finance your project or not, the proposal must include the form of payment or financing information.
If you work with a contractor that offers financing and choose to finance your project through them, the proposal should include what type of financing you chose and the details of it.
If you do not choose to finance, the proposal should include the form of payment you are using and outline the payment terms. This could include the payment date, the form of payment, and other payment due dates.
6. Contact information
You never want to open a proposal and not have a point of contact you can reach out to with any questions or concerns.
In your proposal, you want the contact information for the company you received the quote from and the consultant who presented you with the quote. This way, you can directly reach out to the representative you met with about any questions you have about the proposal.
7. Terms and conditions
A technical aspect you want to be included in your project’s proposal is the terms and conditions of the proposal.
The terms and conditions of a contract are a section outlining any specific agreements between both parties. The terms and conditions can include the warranty of the project, payment dates and terms, cancellation terms, and many other terms.
Essentially, the terms and conditions outline technical and legal terms that the contract binds. It is important to have terms and conditions included in a project contract to protect both parties under the agreement.
8. Expiration date
Did you know most, if not all, project contracts have an expiration date? Well, they do. And if they don’t, they should.
A project contract must have an expiration date for the sake of the cost. If the proposal does not have an expiration date, and one tries to follow through with the contract 10 years from the date they got it, the company has no written contract to refute the customer.
You, as a consumer, must know how long the contract is valid and when you need to take action.
The expiration date is not always outlined as an exact date but rather a period of time, like seven days or 30 days.
9. Change orders for your project
A change order is an amendment to your original contract. For example, this could be a change in the product specifications or the installation date of your project.
While a change order is not an original part of a project contract, it is important you are aware of what should be included if a change order is required.
So, if you sign a contract, then either the contractor or you must make a change, a change order should be added and signed off on to seal the deal.
Identifying a high-quality home remodeling contract
Now you know nine crucial things that should be included in any home remodeling contract. Each of these items play an important role not only in the proposal but to your entire project as a whole.
If your contract does not provide a full cost breakdown, how do you know where your money is going?
If the proposal does not include every detail of the products you chose, how do you know the right products will be installed?
If the contract does not have any contact information for the representative who presented you with the proposal, will you be able to find them if you have any specific questions?
You see, each part of a project contract has a purpose. If your contract does not include each of these parts, this leaves room for misunderstanding and miscommunication in your project.
A project proposal should be detailed, thorough, and explanatory. There should be no room for questions or misinterpretations, so both parties have a binding agreement on what is expected.
At Southwest Exteriors, we strive to provide you with all the information you need for your project. This includes a highly detailed project proposal that includes each of these nine things we outlined in this article and more.
Even if you don’t work with us, we want to educate you on the right things to look for in a product and a company to work with.
So, when you’re looking for the right contractor for your project, you need to know how to compare multiple contractors to choose the best one. Not only does this include comparing project proposals but four other things to compare, too.