When it comes to the three R's of home improvement--remodeling, re-roofing, and renovation--most people will hire a contractor to get the job done. A good contractor will ensure that the work happens professionally and according to schedule. But even if you think you've found a reliable contractor, it pays to address certain issues in print. If you've got plans to hire a contractor soon, read on. This article will present three key points to address in your contract.
Waste and debris removal
Even seemingly small-scale home improvement projects generate a surprising amount of waste. When considering this prospect, many people simply assume that their contractor will "take care of things" in a professional manner. But without stipulating some specific guidelines in your contract, before long shingles, bricks, wood, and other building materials may begin piling up on your lawn.
Here are the most important specific waste related specifics to address in your contract:
- What size dumpster or waste bin the contractor will be renting
- The dumpster's scheduled delivery date and time
- How often debris will be gathered and deposited in the dumpster (hint: every day is best!).
- How often interior work areas will be swept and/or vacuumed.
A contractor has numerous employees that he uses to complete a given job. Such employees will generally be covered by the contractor's general liability and worker's compensation insurance policies. That said, don't simply take a contractor's word that his or her employees are covered--request that photocopies of the insurance policies be appended to the contract itself. This will help to protect you in the event that somebody gets hurt while working on your home.
You should also be aware that sometimes contractors also will hire sub-contractors to perform specialized tasks that no one in their own crew is trained for. Because they are sub-contractors and not employees, these workers are seldom covered by the contractor's insurance. Therefore, make it clear in your contract that any such workers must provide proof of insurance before they will be allowed to begin work.
The building materials involved in home improvement projects are very heavy--and the trucks that deliver them are heavier still. This puts the paving around your home--the driveways, sidewalks, and patios--at risk of becoming cracked, stained, or otherwise damaged.
Ultimately, it is your contractor's responsibility to minimize such damage, and to take responsibility when it happens. Yet it can be difficult to prove which issues were created during the project, and which were preexisting. Therefore you should always protect yourself by taking clear, detailed photographs of your paved surfaces. These should be attached to the contract to function as visual evidence should any damage occur. To learn more, visit G & L Services.