One of the ways even well-meaning contractors can cut corners is to be very general, broad, or vague in their contracts. “I want to pay a fair amount of money for services rendered. I don’t want to be stuck with any hefty fees for things that weren’t ‘included’ that I should have been aware of.”
Too often, a homeowner will accept a bid, without knowing enough about what’s actually included (or excluded) from the contract. However, most homeowners aren’t professional contractors and aren’t familiar enough with construction to know whether or not a contract is thorough. All questions about your remodeling project are VALID and deserve to be answered by any professional builder!
According to Rick Thomas, President of Thomas Custom Builders in Manassas, VA, “A good proposal will include a clear definition of the project (scope of work), what we are NOT doing (specific exclusions), and how we are accomplishing the scope of work (qualifications).”
It’s not just required when you think you might be dealing with a shady contractor, either: a well-documented project is the foundation of a successful project. It prevents misunderstandings and helps avoid disagreements. Remember: make sure you understand the project in the same way as your contractor proposes, IN WRITING. Sign the agreements only when ALL of your questions are fully understood and on record!