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Once I choose a contractor, what items should be covered in the contract?

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According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, a well-written contract should contain the following information:

The contractor’s name, address, telephone and license number, if applicable;

Details about what will and will not be done;

A detailed list of materials for the project, including model, brand name and color.

The approximate start date and substantial completion dates.

A written notice of your right to cancel a contract within three business days of signing, without penalty – provided the contract was solicited at some place other than the contractor’s place of business or appropriate trade premise.

Financial terms that are spelled out clearly, including payment schedules and any cancellation penalties.

A one-year minimum warranty identified as either “full” or “limited” to cover materials and workmanship, as well as the name and address of the party who will honor the warranty.

A binding arbitration clause, in the event a disagreement occurs.

You may also want to include a statement that you will not be responsible if payment to the contractors’ subcontractors and suppliers are not made. You may also want to establish that the contractor should obtain all the necessary permits and that all blank spots in the contract be filled in with phrases like “does not apply.”

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