As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. To avoid the latter, plan ahead for your work with a general contractor. Planning ahead may include asking lots of questions and doing your own research. One such question you may have is “what documents should I expect to get from my general contractor?” Read here for documents that may be provided when you hire a general contractor and why these documents matter.
The contract agreement is the main agreement between you and the general contractor. This document outlines the general contractor’s responsibilities as well as your rights as the homeowner. It is important to read this document carefully and ask questions if something is unclear. Keep a copy of this contract where it is easy to find so you can reference it if you need.
Scope of Work
The Scope of Work, or SOW, answers all the questions about how the main contract agreement will be accomplished. It will detail what will be done, how it will be done, who will do it, and how they will complete the work.
The general contractor should also provide a schedule detailing estimated start date, finish date, and when each stage of the project should take place. This will help you keep track of how the project is progressing and keep the contractor accountable.
A business license is required for all businesses, including general contractors. This license verifies that they are a legitimate business and have met all requirements set by their state or local government.
Insurance and Workers’ Compensation Certificate
These documents show that the general contractor has insurance in case of any accidents or injuries that may occur on your property. These documents will protect you, the contractor, and any employees of the contractor.
Proof of Bonding
A general contractor may be bonded in case they do not complete the project as specified in the contract or if they go bankrupt. This document protects you from any financial damages that may occur.
List of Subcontractors
If your general contractor uses subcontractors for part of the work on your project, it is important to know who these subcontractors are. This list will also help you contact these companies if there are any issues with the work they do.
A general contractor should be happy to provide references from past clients. Contacting these clients can give you a better idea of what to expect from working with this general contractor on your project.
A change order is a document that details any changes made to the original construction agreement between you and the general contractor. This could include changes in cost, date of completion, or scope of work.
The general contractor should provide a payment schedule that outlines when each payment is due. This will help prevent any confusion about who owes what and when.
If you’re thinking of taking on a home improvement project, these are just some of the general contractor documents you may receive. By understanding what documents you’ll receive and what they mean, you can be sure that you are making an informed decision when hiring a general contractor.
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