We have contractor clients all over the country and one of the first questions we get when we talk about their contracts is, “I am not sure it is up to date.” Now there are a few different ways we consider this question. Let’s look at why it’s important to have an up-to-date residential contract.
Is your contract up to date for the work you are doing?
What this means is: is your contract drafted specifically for your business? Or did you borrow it from another company or get a basic template from online somewhere? Your contract should address your specific scope of work—after all, the terms that are in a pool builder’s contract are different than those of a remodeling contractor. The best way to CYA is to have a contract drafted specifically for the work that you do.
Is there an issue you have experienced in the past that you do not want to experience again?
The great thing about having your own custom contract is that it can contain all of the things that are important to you. If you have come across a situation that you don’t want to experience again, add it to your contract. For example, if you had a client cancel the contract and you did not get a cancelation fee because it was not in your contact, be sure to add it to your contract.
Negotiate Better Construction Contracts
At The Cromeens Law Firm, we have extensive knowledge and understanding of construction contract laws and are licensed in Texas, Georgia, and California. We are often able to solve contract disputes for our clients through informal negotiations, mediation, or arbitration. Work with us to equip yourself with the ability to properly evaluate your risks before you sign and negotiate your next subcontract with greater confidence and ease.
Can you and your customer understand the contract?
It is so outdated to have a contract that is full of legalese that no one can understand. The whole purpose of a contract is to manage expectations! If no one can understand the contract, it will not do a very good job at managing expectations. When expectations are not managed well, that is when you end up getting sued. Save yourself the time, expense, and aggravation of being sued. Instead, just be upfront about what your customer can expect—the good, bad and the ugly—as long as its honest.
Does your contract have what your state requires?
Each state has something that is required to be in residential construction contracts. They assume that the homeowner is not business savvy and may be taken advantage of by a contractor—so each state requires some language that will protect the homeowner. It is very important to make sure that you have an up-to-date residential contract that contains the terms that are required by your state. If it does not, beware! You might not be entitled to be paid for the work you do.
TCLF can help you maintain an up-to-date residential contract
To help you keep up to date with everything discussed here, we are launching a new Residential Contract Subscription. For the introductory rate of $350 per month, we will make sure that your residential contract is up to date in all the ways mentioned in this blog, it also includes unlimited updates and changes to your residential contract. In addition, the Residential Contract Subscription includes unlimited negotiations—meaning if your customer wants to make changes to the contract, we can jump in and handle it or we can help you handle the questions.
Knowing how to protect yourself best is essential, especially when growing your business, and having a team to support you when you’re facing the potential of getting sued is a huge advantage. The Cromeens Law Firm team is here to help keep you out of the courtroom on the front end or help you win the fight inside of it. Contact us today and set yourself up for success with the support of a legal team.
This article is intended as a general educational overview of the subject matter and is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of recent jurisprudence, nor a substitute for legal advice for a specific legal matter. If you have a legal issue, consult an attorney.