Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Materials to be Used

Another important provision in a home improvement contract is the list of materials to be used. This is an area in which both homeowners and contractors make assumptions that get them into trouble. Homeowners tend to assume that they are entitled to a level of materials that should be included. Contractors may cut back on materials in order to reduce costs, or may fail to inform homeowners that items may cost extra.

There are two ways to handle this issue. Contractors may include allowances for materials in their contracts and then list additions as change orders. This gives the homeowner the most leeway. Conversely, the contractor can spell out the materials with very specific details that will not be misunderstood.

Contractors may choose to protect themselves by putting in a clause that states that if the fee for materials goes up by more than 10%, that the homeowner will either have to compromise, or pay for a change order. The important point here is that both sides must make their expectations clear.

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