A Home Improvement Contract is a legally binding agreement between a homeowner (or property owner) and a contractor who will perform home improvement services. These services could include any renovation, repair, remodeling, or construction project for an existing residence.
Home improvement contracts protect your rights when remodeling a client’s house. They contain essential legal provisions that protect you from liability and establish clear guidelines with your customers.
What Is a Home Improvement Contract?
A home improvement contract is a legal agreement between the contractor and the client about remodeling services. General contractors and their employees provide these home improvement services to customers in residential real estate and should always get these agreements in writing.
The legal document outlines the work’s scope and the legal relationship’s limitations. These contracts are also commonly called:
- Remodeling contracts
- Contracts for home improvement
- Home improvement agreements
- Remodeling services agreements
Why Use a Home Improvement Contract?
Whether doing a small job or major construction, you want written documentation about what services you are expected to perform. There are many benefits to a written home improvement contract, including, but not limited to:
- Setting clear deadlines for the start and end date of the project
- Outlining contractor and client expectations and guidelines
- Reducing the likelihood of legal disputes later on
- Reducing the likelihood of nonpayment or reduced payment
- Discussing the sale of goods as part of the home improvement agreement
- Improving customer service with clients by setting clear boundaries and promises
Some jurisdictions will even require a written quote and contract when you work with residential homeowners. Consumers often have additional protections, and a written home improvement agreement may be legally required in your area.
How Can I Get Out of a Home Improvement Contract?
Sometimes, you need to get out of a home improvement contract, but you must do so correctly. If you are either the contractor or the client, you can negotiate a termination of the agreement. This saves a legal fight and significant cost to yourself or your business.
You may be able to terminate the contract based on the terms of the agreement or in the event of a breach of contract. If you cannot both agree to cancel the contract, you should consider working with legal counsel for help.
What To Include in a Home Improvement Contract
There are specific vital provisions you should include in your home improvement contract. These include:
Date and Jurisdiction
The contract should clearly state the date it was signed and the state in which it will be signed.
The contract should state the parties’ names, addresses, business names, and any official titles, if applicable. This identifies who is bound to the agreement.
Description of Home Improvement Services
The home improvement agreement should describe the home improvement services the contractor will provide the client. This may include:
- What work will be done
- Where the work will be performed
- Start and end dates for the home improvement services
- Specific details about the work and the final product
- Design services, if any
- Price of work and how it will be calculated
- How and when payment will occur for the services
A home improvement contract template PDF gives you standard language and legal clauses to help protect your business and your rights.
A valid written agreement must be signed to be enforceable. The home improvement agreement should include an area for the parties’ printed names and their signatures.
Home Improvement Contract Sample
The sample home improvement contract below shows you what you need to protect your rights. You can also build your agreement with our document builder.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Must Be Included in a California Home Improvement Contract?
California requires a written contract that includes information such as, but not limited to:
- Your contractor license number
- Both parties’ signatures
- Legal statements required by law
The agreement must be written in legible writing, and you must provide a signed copy to your client before the work commences.
Can You Cancel a Home Improvement Contract?
You can cancel a home improvement contract depending on the situation, but how you do so varies. You should include how to cancel the agreement in your written agreement, including any permissible reasons and cancellation penalties.
You should seek to negotiate a cancellation rather than doing so unilaterally. To protect your legal rights, you may wish to consult legal counsel before terminating a contract.