Home Improvement Contract Essentials

home improvement contractor at work
home improvement contractor at work

Big talk about your next home improvement project may be exciting, but don't skip the step of securing a formal, written contract from your contractor if you want to make that dream a reality. Verbal contracts with home improvement professionals may be binding by law, but the details can be hard to enforce if there's a disagreement of any kind after the work begins.

"Almost all of the disputes that we see with contractors arise out of deals where there was no written contract--it was all oral," says Jerry Feeney, a residential real estate lawyer based in New York City.

A formal, detailed home improvement contract is the best way to ensure that a successful renovation, addition or home upgrade is finished to your specifications. Before you sign on the bottom line, run through this checklist of critical inclusions for your home improvement project contract.