In part one of this two-part series, the Naples contractor lawyers at Cotney Construction Law introduced the topic of home improvement contracts and established why these contracts are important and what types of projects require them. As we discussed, home improvement contracts are varied and unique, so preparing an airtight contract can be difficult without the legal assistance of a Naples contractor attorney. In part two, we will continue to explore home improvement contracts to help you gain a better understanding of the contents of these contracts and what will happen if one party violates the terms of their agreement.
The Contents of a Home Improvement Contract
If you want your home improvement contracts to be legally binding and drafted in a way that equally represents you (the contractor) and the homeowner, it’s best to partner with a Naples contractor lawyer who is well-versed in reviewing construction-related contracts. Home improvement contracts must be drafted in accordance with state and local regulations. At the most basic level, you will need a written document with signatures from both parties and their witnesses, but that is only the beginning. Typically, contracts for home improvement contracts require information including:
- Clear identification of the parties involved in the contract (the contractor, the homeowner, etc.)
- The names and contact information of the contracted parties
- Information on the project under consideration
- A detailed budget for materials, labor, and other costs
- Expected deadlines or time frames for project completion
- Breakdown of assigned duties for the contractor and those being assigned to subcontractors
- Instructions for contending with potential legal disputes
In addition, some contracts utilize a “no-litigation” clause which discards the rights of both parties to pursue litigation if a dispute arises. Instead, both parties agree to use alternative forms of conflict resolution to solve any disputes. If you are interested in utilizing mediation or arbitration to settle a contractual dispute, a Naples contractor attorney can assist you. However, you should always be cautious when utilizing a no-litigation clause. Although this clause can save money and foster trust between you and the homeowner, it greatly limits both parties’ options for seeking legal recourse.
Violating a Home Improvement Contract
Like other common construction-related contracts, the success of a home improvement contract is predicated on the ability of both parties to fulfill their terms. Unless you included a no-litigation clause, the non-breaching party can typically recover any losses through litigation. Remedies usually include monetary damages which award the claimant for any financial losses resulting from the violating party’s inability to meet the terms of the contract. As a contractor, you need to certify that all work is fully completed by the deadline or you may be responsible for damages. Damages are assessed according to the specifics of your contract and the laws pertaining to your state. For more information about home improvement contract violations, consult a Naples contractor attorney.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.