Don't Forget These Renovation Contract Details

by Lisa LeGrand 06/13/2021

Homeowners and contractors sometimes grow frustrated because of miscommunications. Even with what appears to be a well-crafted remodeling agreement, people interpret things differently. That's why it’s essential to include mutually agreeable dispute resolution clauses in your contract.

How to Minimize Potential Disputes

Understanding how the project rolls out often proves enlightening. It's not uncommon for a construction company to juggle multiple projects. Outdoor projects require good weather and contractors capitalize on it. Many pivot to indoor work, such as a kitchen remodel when it rains.

Because of this, contracts usually include a reasonable timeline that should be followed. Employing the following best practices may help improve communication:

      • Read the contract and take a few days to think through it.
    • Identify areas that could prove problematic.
    • Negotiate any portions that make you feel uncomfortable.
    • Consider whether the timeline works with your lifestyle needs.

    Understanding timetables, workflow, materials, products and reasonable noise help property owners navigate the process. Reading the contract is always wise, but a keen appreciation of all the moving parts keeps people on the same page.

    Dispute Resolution Tools to Put in Writing

    When people involved in a construction contract become unhappy, communication can become emotional. That tends to only heighten the problems otherwise good people want to resolve. Without mechanisms in your agreement to help you, your only recourse might be to hire an attorney and litigate. Consider the following alternatives:

    1. Negotiation: Including a clause that requires parties to engage in fair negotiations may resolve misunderstandings. It may be worthwhile to outline a specific process such as electronic communication.
    2. Mediation: Agreeing to work with a designated third party offers both sides a neutral opinion about facts and reasonable ways to move forward.
    3. Expert Evaluation: Another process that is generally not binding involves enlisting a construction expert. This mutually agreed upon person can provide a concise opinion that highlights commonly adopted industry standards and how they might be applied.
    4. Adjudication: This process formalizes mediation and can be legally binding to some degree. A neutral party with experience resolving construction contract disputes renders an opinion both parties agree to follow.
    5. Arbitration: This process usually involves paying a lawyer, but it may prevent expensive courtroom litigation. An impartial arbitrator reviews facts and documents submitted by both sides. The language in the contract can make the arbitrator's decision legally binding.

    Make sure to consider these things for your next project Renovation contracts that include ways to settle disagreements out of court protect homeowners and contractors alike.

About the Author
Author

Lisa LeGrand

San Antonio has been my home all my adult life. I grew up in a small Texas town about an hour south of San Antonio. San Antonio has always been the perfect fit for my family. I have been selling homes in San Antonio and the surrounding areas for 32 years. I specialize in listings, sales, new construction, first time home buyers, move up buyers and corporate relocation. I have always been a top producer. My dad was a Realtor. My son Luke LeGrand is a commercial Realtor.