What should I make sure is in a home builder’s contract?
I’m reviewing a builder’s contract for building a townhome for me. Can you tell me what things are standard in a contract, what I should look for, what I should be careful with, and what I should make sure it has in it?
Thank you, Luis
Anything and everything that might help to protect your interests…
You should be careful that you understand everything the contract contains and be certain that it is written so that you and your interests are protected as much as — and preferably more than — the interests of the builder or contractor providing the agreement. And, since it is a pretty good bet that your builder has worked with an attorney to produce, or at least review, the documents in question in order to protect his or her business, I strongly recommend that you hire your own lawyer to review all applicable agreements before you sign them.
The cost of reviewing the contract documents will vary depending upon the attorney, the contract, and the work you are asking to be done — anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. If everything goes well during the construction process, whatever you pay to a lawyer may seem like too much. However, if things don’t go as you expect, even a few thousand dollars could be considerably less money than the cost of duplicate loan or mortgage payments you might owe if the house isn’t completed on time; or the costs of living in a hotel room while construction is delayed; or the costs of removing and replacing a house full of the wrong hardwood flooring; or the need to pay off a mechanic’s lien attached to the property by a subcontractor or supplier that the builder was supposed to pay; or…
A good contract doesn’t guarantee that problems will not occur or that you will always get along with your builder or that you will have an enjoyable experience or that you will not pay more than you expect or that… but, it should provide you with a little more bargaining power if (when;-) things don’t go exactly as planned between you and your builder.
The following pages offer some additional information:
Good luck with your project, thank you for visiting B4UBUILD.COM, and have fun building!