What is a Sample Home Improvement Contract Usually Missing?


Photo credit: Steve Snodgrass
Photo credit: Steve Snodgrass

This is how screwed up the process of working with a contractor can be: let’s pretend you didn’t ask for a sample home improvement contract before you went forward with the project. In retrospect it’s no biggie, right? You took all of the safeguards when choosing a window contractor. You spoke with nearly a dozen of them. You did your homework. You researched his license, insurance, past projects, and basically chose a professional that excelled at everything you checked out.

Your positives feelings were verified when the final project was completed on time, on budget, and looked simply spectacular. You invited all your family and friends over to check it out. Why wouldn’t you brag? You are the shining example of how to complete a home remodeling project from start to finish.

And then you get a letter stating a lien had been placed on your home. Where did this come from and what now?

How Can it be Wrong if it Feels so Right?

Let’s rewind here for a second. When you were sitting down with your contractor, did you ask for a sample home improvement contract? Probably not and here’s why this is so important. 98% of all home improvement contracts fail to include an affidavit that ensures your contractor will pay his subcontractors. This is critical because if he doesn’t pay them then you are on the hook for the bill. So not only will you have paid the contractor for the cost of the project, but also you’ll have no choice but to pay off the subcontractors as well. There’s no other way to get the lien off of your home. If you don’t, you can’t sell it or even attain credit until the issue is resolved.

You might be wondering how this could have happened. You did all your homework. The contractor performed flawless work at a price you had agreed upon. If only you had known the contract you were signing needed to include an affidavit.

How to Protect Yourself

Here’s how to make sure you’re fully protected if your contractor doesn’t pay his subcontractors after the window installation is complete. It’s actually quite simple. Just make sure your contractor signs a separate document stating that you, the homeowners, will pay him in full. He will then pay his subcontractors. Now you’re protected.

An important thing to note as well is that you won’t find this language in a sample home improvement contract, so it’s probably going to be up to you to have this affidavit ready to go. Also, make sure only a legal representative of the company signs it. Nobody else – including a salesperson – can legally sign it.

We’ve talked a lot about contractor scams so far. Sometimes, however, a contractor doesn’t have to be a scam artist for a project to go awry. Maybe your contractor didn’t pay his subcontractors because something unforeseen happened with his business. In the end though, you must protect yourself from his workers coming after you when the project is complete. Make sure you have the signed affidavit and you should be just fine. If you have any questions or need additional guidance on this important matter, contact the 100% free to use HomeProHub Referral Service today.

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