Know what you're signing before you sign! Be sure your renovation contract covers all these basic key points and always ask plenty of questions! Protect yourself by getting everything in black and white.

renovation, home and decor, contract,
(Image: General Remodelling services)

3 things that should be in your contract, and 10 terms you should know.

When you have chosen a contractor for your home renovation works, it is time to get a legitimate and detailed contract. A well-written contract will protect you from dodgy work and arguments over costs and delays.

A contract should always, at the very least, outline:

  1. The scope of work
  2. The timeframe of the project
  3. The cost involved, procedures that you and your contractor must comply with

Know these basic terms that should be in your contract:

  1. Renovation premises – The home that is up for remodelling. Specify what is to be remodelled, and what should not be touched.
  2. Scope of work – Comprehensive list of labour and materials for the work outlined in the estimate.  
  3. Contract sum and Terms of payment – Contract sum should clearly state the amount agreed upon quotation given by contractor.  
  4. Commencement date and date of completion – Agree on the date which actual work will commence and end.  
  5. Stages of renovation – This is the detailed outline of the work that has to be completed in phrases.  
  6. Compensation clause for delay – Agree on the amount covering estimated damages or loss for each day the project is delayed. 
  7. Termination of agreement – You have the right to terminate your contract if the contractor ceases to do work for more than 3 consecutive days or if workmanship is poor. You are then only required to pay for completed work.
  8. Subcontracting a third party – Your written consent is needed if and when a sub contactor or third party is hired. You do not need to bear the cost of the third party hired.
  9. Defects liability period – A warranty period, typically 12 months, so the contractor is liable for costs to rectify the defects.
  10. Dispute resolution – A renovation contract includes this arbitration clause which means a dispute must be settle by you and the contractor through mediation, for instance by the Case mediation panel.