A contractor agreement form is a legal document that sets out both the responsibilities and expectations of both parties to a home improvement contract. It is a vitally important tool for both setting goals for and protecting the rights of moth parties to the contract. Each agreement will be different, as each project is different. But there are some elements that should be included in every agreement of this kind.
The first part of these contracts should always include contact information for both parties. The kind of information that should be included about the contractor is the name of the company, names of the owners of the company, a physical address, and a phone number. A physical address is important from a legal standpoint because, if there is a legal dispute, you will need a physical address for serving a subpoena. You cannot serve process to a post office box. Insurance company information and any licenses that are important to the project should also be included.
The work that is to be completed should be described thoroughly and in great detail. The scope of the work overall as well as details concerning individual parts of a larger project need to be clearly spelled out. Any materials to be used should be specifically defined. This should include band names, quantity, color, size, style, and any other important details. If any equipment is going to be needed, that should be written into the agreement as well.
Start and completion times must be set forth in this agreement. This includes not only times for the entire project, but also start and end times for the work to be done each day. If there are to be late penalties included in the contract, they would be included here as well. Understand that most contractors are very wary of signing any agreement that includes late penalties. Any days off from the project should be included here.
A very important part of the contractor agreement, especially for the contractor, is the schedule of payments. There is no universal method that each contractor uses to accept payments. These can be scheduled in several different ways. Some contractors will not expect payment until the entire project has been satisfactorily completed. Others will require a certain percentage to be paid up front before getting started. This often provides them with the cash they need to procure supplies and pay their laborers. A popular method of payment is for a payment to be made at the outset of the project, another half way through the project, and the rest to be paid when the work is completed and inspected. If financing is going to be required for the project, then a clause must be included that states the agreement will be void if financing cannot be obtained.
The contractor agreement form is never complete until the details are taken care of. One of these important details is the clean-up of the project. Some jobs can create quite a mess. The installation of a new roof, for example, inevitably results in roofing nails falling into the yard. The agreement should state how these nails are to be dealt with, and what the homeowners rights are if they are not cleaned up properly. Debris removal is also an issue, as some projects generate a great deal of trash. The method of collection and removal of project debris must be detailed. Repair of damages caused by equipment used for the job should be detailed. Any access the workers have to the home needs to be written into the agreement to protect the homeowner.