The Bathroom Renovation Contract – Should You Always Get It In Writing?

Get a Written Agreement When You Hire

The National Association of Home Builders and The Canadian Home Builders Association both stipulate that whenever you hire someone for bathroom renovation in your residence, it doesn’t matter the size of the job, you should always get a written and signed contract or statement of intent.

The more in-depth and detailed the contract, the better. Even if you have been using the renovator for a while and you have a good working relationship there is still a short list of prerequisites that must be covered and agreed upon before the work can begin.

After all, a contract is nothing more than an agreement outlining the responsibilities of each party and the legal recourse of how problems will be resolved in case the renovation goes awry.

You never know what could happen: unforeseen accidents, damages or if for some reason the contractor’s skips town or can’t finish the job, and then there is the possibility of claims by unpaid subcontractors.

All in all, this must be discussed and agreed upon by both parties involved, and if you are unsure of a contact stipulation, you may also want to ask a lawyer to review the contract for clarification.

1. Contact information from both parties including GST or Business ID.

2. All contract documents (drawings, list of materials, blueprints, brands, models etc.).

3. Start and finish dates and a description of what work will be done.

4. Payment terms including schedule milestones plus taxes.

Setting The Terms of the Arrangement

5. Holdbacks – where you holdback a certain percentage for a specified time period to protect you against subcontractors that may put a lien on your home if the renovator doesn’t pay them.

6. Extras and Deletions or Change orders (both parties should sign any change to the prices and attached to contract)

7. Allowances (lump sum in the contract price for items such as fixtures or cabinets, flooring etc.)

8. A contingency is money set aside to cover the cost of items that the renovator won’t know the definitive cost until the project is underway.

9. Work standards refer to your renovator’s agreement to comply with regulatory bylaws and doing what is laid out in the contract.

10. Proof of your renovator’s liability insurance.

11. All inspections, permits and municipal approvals and who will obtain the necessary documents.

12. The renovator’s warranty and how long it will last.

13. The use of your home facilities including electricity, water, storage materials etc.

14. Subcontractors who will be working on your home.

15. Dispute resolution, usually including the name of a third-party mediator.

16. Signage allowing your renovator to display promotional signs on your property during your bathroom home renovation project.

All reputable professionals know the importance of a written contract. This not only protects them and yourself from unexpected liability, but it is also an indication that you are dealing with a diligent professional renovator who knows what they are doing. So start off right and get it in writing.

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