If you have experienced a bad contractor in the past, you understand firsthand the value of an honorable and transparent contractor. An honorable contractor will ensure that your construction contract contains no hidden fees. An honorable contractor will prepare you for all scenarios such as when additional expenses may occur based upon uncovering an area during construction that may have rot or other damages existing. An honorable contractor always makes the decisions clear and provides great customer service. Here at Cedarbrook, we strive to be Maryland’s leading respected design and build company that specializes in outdoor living spaces through our non-negotiable integrity, superior craftsmanship, remarkable client services and investment in our employees. Of course, not all contractors are like Cedarbrook, so we put together guidelines to help you navigate your new construction contract!
Once you receive a construction contract from your contractor, you must do your due diligence to make sure you are protected. A contract is meant to protect both parties, as well as to let each party know what to expect and what the requirements are. You will want to know what you are buying, and you will need to ensure there is a thorough project description in the contract. Your home improvement contract should include:
Company Information: Any company you choose to do business with needs to have a Maryland Home Improvement
Commission License. Cedarbrook’s license number is #131359. You can check the status of a potential contractor on the Maryland Department of Labor website.
Look for a thorough explanation of your contractor’s services and what to expect from the start of the project to the end. Typically included in this section are all permits, labor, material and other requirements necessary to complete the project in full.
hat products are being used for your project? Do these products carry a warranty? Has the company informed you about your product or workmanship warranties? These are very important questions to ask if the answers are not on your contract.
Your contractor should give you an estimated start date and end date for your project. Bear in mind that poor weather conditions, manufacturing delays, and other unforeseen circumstances, can alter your projects start and end dates. Your contractor should also provide an estimated length of completion for your project.
Your contract should include your total price. Most contractors work from a draw schedule which is a series of payments you will make to your contractor throughout the build process. It is illegal in Maryland for a contractor to request more than 1/3rd of the project cost up front.
During the build, issues may arise. The common potential issues should be discussed between you and your contractor before the build, and then again if these issues occur. If you would like to add to the project at any point, an addendum contract would be used for that as well.
Read the fine print, each contract is different. Our fine print reads that our estimator’s pricing is only valid for 14 days from the date of receipt, also we offer a 5-year warranty towards workmanship for every Cedarbrook project.
Building contracts should be straightforward. You should feel comfortable with the builder you choose and if you have questions, it’s important to ask. If you feel the need for a more in-depth contract review you can always consult an attorney. If you are considering a new outdoor living space with a clear and concise contract, call Cedarbrook today for a free consultation at 301-703-8728.