(You can determine whether a contractor is properly licensed by searching the website for the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.)
5 Important Steps after Selecting a Contractor
Once you’ve chosen a contractor, make sure these five bases are covered:
- Get a clear and enforceable contract that specifies the scope of work to be done.
- Make it clear that the contractor should do the work in accordance with the plans and specifications, as well as in accordance with the local building codes for your city.
- Make certain that the contract includes a provision for attorneys’ fees in the event of a dispute.
- If a building permit is required to do the work, make certain that final payment is not due until after the inspections are passed.
- Before you sign anything and before any work starts, have an experienced attorney review the contract and all related documents.
What Should a Good Contract Include?
A serious construction defect could make your home or part of your home unlivable, and having a good contract is the surest way to protect your rights and interests before, during and after a construction or remodeling project.
A solid contract should state in precise language all of the following:
- The scope of work to be done
- The expected cost of the project
- The required materials
- When the job will start
- A reasonable timeframe for completion of the project
- How any changes to the scope of work should be handled
- How any disputes should be resolved
Essentially, you want to avoid ambiguities, and an experienced construction law attorney can help you do that by reviewing the contract and related documents before you sign anything.
Also, after the project is complete, be sure to review the contractor’s work, and be sure to ask lots of questions.
The attorneys at Levy – von Beck & Associates have extensive experience in reviewing and negotiating contracts, as well as in handling insurance claims for homeowners, commercial building owners and condominium associations in Seattle and throughout Washington.