So you need a new fence or some siding replaced on your home. Maybe its time for a complete exterior remodel. You ask around social media or Craigslist and come up with a few contractors who may be candidates. STOP! Read this document until you fully understand it. Then, follow the recommendations and advice to minimize the chances of expensive misfires. The bigger the pricetag, the more important your diligence upfront becomes. Be sure to avoid letting aggressive sales people rush you into waiving your rights or it could cost you more than just money, it could cost you your home. Home remodeling- Know your rights and responsibilities.
How To Avoid Becoming a Victim of Contractors or a Handyman
Another neighbor shared their horror story about how their home update and remodeling project went wrong. It’s now weeks or months later, and the contractor is nowhere to be found. The job is incomplete after you’ve paid a lot of money. Your home is in shambles, much worse than before the work started. Can you avoid these nightmare remodeling scenarios? Yes, absolutely. In a word, it takes diligence. For starters, you need to do your homework upfront. Also, It helps to know your responsibilities and rights under Texas law. Texas contractors should provide you with the following information along with a contract or agreement you sign. At a minimum, follow through with all these, and you should have a happy ending.
This document is NOT an exhaustive list of things to know about contractors you hire. For example, you should verify the contractor is carrying adequate insurance and that the policy is current. Insurance verification sometimes requires a phone call to their carrier to be sure. It’s easy to misread people by personalities and “nice” people. Look at their work, drive to reference addresses and look for yourself. Talk to the homeowner references. Checking out at least three or more references is more than justified if your job costs thousands of dollars.
Disclosure Statement For Residential Construction Contract
Home remodeling: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities Under The Law.
You are about to enter into a transaction to build a new home or remodel existing residential property. Texas law requires your contractor to provide you with this brief overview of some of your rights, responsibilities, and risks in this transaction.
Conveyance to the contractor is not required.
Your contractor may not require you to convey your real property to them as a condition to the agreement to construct improvements on your property.
Know your remodeling contractor.
Before you enter into your agreement to construct improvements to your real property, make sure that you have investigated your contractor. Obtain and verify references from other people who have used the contractor for the type and size of the construction project on your property.
Get it in writing.
Make sure that you have a written agreement with your contractor that includes:
(1) a description of the work the contractor is to perform;
(2) the required or estimated time for completion of the work;
(3) the cost of the work or how the cost will be determined.
If your contractor made a promise, warranty, or representation to you concerning the work the contractor is to perform, make sure that promise, warranty, or representation is specified in the written agreement. An oral promise not included in the written agreement may not be enforceable under Texas law.
Read before you sign.
Do not sign any document before you have read and understood it. Never sign a document that includes an untrue statement. Take your time in reviewing documents.
If you borrow money from a lender to pay for the improvements, you are entitled to have the loan closing documents furnished to you for review at least one business day before the closing. Do not waive this requirement unless a bona fide emergency or another good cause exists, and make sure you understand the documents before you sign them. If you fail to comply with the terms of the documents, you could lose your property. You are entitled to have your attorney review any documents.
If you have any questions about the meaning of a document, consult an attorney.
Get a list of subcontractors and suppliers.
Before construction commences, your contractor is required to provide you with a list of the subcontractors and suppliers the contractor intends to use on your project. Your contractor is required to supply updated information on any subcontractors and suppliers added after the list is provided. Your contractor is not required to supply this information if you sign a written waiver of your rights to receive this information.
For future reference, you should have a disclosure form with the contract by law for construction to real property, even fences.
Home remodeling: know your rights and responsibilities