Replacement Windows Contract

When it comes to home improvement projects, it is important that you have a good replacement windows contract that is agreed upon and signed by both parties prior to commencement of any work. These contracts protect both the homeowner and installers from any problems that may arise, and also spells out up front exactly what you should expect from your contractor throughout the scope of the project.

“Not all contracts are alike, so in order to make sure that you are receiving from any potential home improvement contractor contains the pertinent information you need, consider this a list of what needs to be included. That way, if you receive a contract with missing information, you can make the contractor aware of the omission and ask them to include the missing info.”

Basics Of Replacement Windows Contract

You need to have some basic info on it. This includes the name, address and phone number of you and the contractor, as well as the date that it is being signed and put into effect. It should indicate any other information about the contractor’s business (is it a corporation, a sole proprietorship, etc?) and should clearly stipulate that the contractor is not your employee, but is rather an independent contractor for hire. Information about subcontractors and/or suppliers should also be clearly stated, and proof should be provided (in writing) that the contractor has paid them in full for their services and/or materials.

Replacement Windows Contract – Scope of Work

This is the meat of the document. It should list, in detail, all aspects of the work to be completed, including measurements, materials (including manufacturers, styles, and quantities), how many people will be working on the job, and any other relevant information to the project. It should also indicate how any changes will be handled. Change orders should be used and signed by both parties whenever there are any changes to be made to the contract, whether due to materials, cost for the replacements, time frames, etc. Change orders serve as amendments to the original written contract.

Dates For Completion
It should have start and anticipated end dates. It should also have other dates or deadlines if the scope of the project is large or the process is lengthy. This better insures that the work will be completed in a timely manner. You may want to include incentives or penalties if certain deadlines are or are not met.

Materials used should be included to avoid confusion. Descriptions should include the manufacturer’s name, style number, order number, color, size, and any other relevant information.

A contract should clearly state who is responsible for damages that occur during the scope of the project and how those damages will be handled. Contractors should be responsible for any damage that occurs to your property as a result of work done.

Storage and Cleanup
If you will have a lot of materials to store until they are used, make sure it specifies where they will be held and who is responsible for them prior to replacement installation (due to fire, water damage, theft, etc.). The contract should also state how trash will be disposed of, whether there is an additional charge for trash removal, and how the job site will be left each day (will it be cleaned up daily?).

Permits, Codes and Regulations
If there are any permits, building codes or zoning regulations that must be obtained or adhered to, it should be explicitly stated who is responsible for obtaining those permits or adhering to the proper regulations (in most cases, this should be the contractor’s responsibility).

Payment Schedule – A detailed payment schedule should be agreed to in writing. You should not be required to pay in full up front. Some contractors require 50% up front (to cover the cost of materials) and then one or two payments during the middle and end of the job. Others may break it down into 25% or even 10 – 15% increments. However the payment schedule is broken down, it should be put in writing so there are no surprises.

If the contractor offers financing terms, the terms of the financing should be included in the contract. If you will be seeking outside financing, the contract should have a contingency clause in case you are unable to secure financing for the project.

The replacement windows contract should expressly state any warranty information for both materials and labor. If a warranty is provided by the material manufacturer, it should be stated on the contract and a copy of the warranty attached. If there is a warranty on the contractor’s labor, it should be provided in detail either on the document or as an attachment.

Dispute Resolution
It should state how any disputes will be handled and what the homeowner needs to do to initiate a dispute. Most often, contractors will require arbitration or mediation to handle disputes. If you have any problems, it is important to document all communication with the contractor in writing to keep a paper trail. That way, if your contractor does not hold up to their end of the contract, you can send all the paperwork to a lawyer who can follow up with additional action.

Right of Recission
A contractor must provide information about your Right of Recission along with the written contract. This is required by the FTC, giving you the right to cancel a contract within 72 hours after it has been signed if it was signed somewhere other than in the contractor’s place of business.   The date and time that your right of recission expires must be clearly stated and should not be buried deep within the agreement.    Typically, the contractor will not begin work until after the right of recission period has expired.

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