Understanding Your Contract

The contract you sign with your general contractor is one of the most important aspects of a successful home renovation project. It is legally binding, requiring change orders to alter, and is agreed upon by both parties. A clear, understood contract can distinguish between a cherished reno and a nightmare. The contract is there to protect you. And it also best breaks down the budget to keep the project on track. Here are some tips on what should be covered in a renovation contract.




Ensure your contractor is fully licensed to perform the jobs discussed. They should be able to provide their license numbers and information so you can make sure it’s all up to date. You don’t want the legal headache of having someone perform a job they aren’t licensed for, and may not be capable of doing. This is critical for specialty work such as electrical or plumbing.




Most general contractors are insured for liability, damages, etc. They may not provide the insurance documents with the contract, but you can ask to see them and ensure their coverage is detailed in the contract. If your contractor is not insured, any liabilities or damages that arise won’t be covered and may end up falling into your hands.


The Schedule


A lot of contracts will break down your timeline. Minor delays are ultimately unavoidable with renovations due to supply issues or weather, but with a contracted timeline, your contractor will do their best to adhere to it. Ensure key dates of construction milestones are listed, and the expected finish date. 


The Work


The contract must list the full scope of work. This is the entire list of expected work the contractor will be responsible for. It can also include anything you must provide to them (such as materials, fixtures, etc). Everything that needs to be done should be in the scope of work. It should be as detailed as necessary (material specifications, types of finishes, permits, clean up, etc). The list can go on depending on how complex the project is.


Payment Schedules


A proper payment schedule in writing will keep you and your contractor on the same page about the money due. This will eliminate any billing issues down the road. Payments are typically tied to milestones in the project or completion percentages to ensure your payments are going to progress and not just the air. Never make full payment upfront and do not pay for unfinished work.



Quality contractors will provide a warranty on their craftsmanship. It is a testament to their standing by their work, as well as a sign that their workmanship is probably not shoddy. Make sure the contract is clear on what the warranty covers, how long it lasts, and what is not under the policy.


Working with a general contractor eases the stress of major renovations. You want to be able to trust that the large investment you are making will result in a timely, quality, and long-lasting renovation you will fall in love with. That is why a firm, detailed contract is key. Marvellous Contracting Inc is a top-rated contractor that is fully bonded, insured and licensed. We stand by our work. Call for a free quote on your project!

Written by Aaron P

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