What should be covered in a renovation contract?

What should be covered in a renovation contract?

(Photo credit: Jirsak/

(Photo credit: Jirsak/

You’ve decided that you want to make renovations to your home and after taking the time to figure out what you want and putting contractors through the wringer, one of the final pieces of the puzzle before work gets underway is signing a renovation contract.

No construction should begin until a contract is signed, but before putting your signature on the bottom line, you want to make sure everything is in order.

The contract serves as your protection if anything happen and while there’s no set format as to how a contract should look, it should provide proof that the contractor runs a legitimate business with GST registration, insurance and workers’ compensation.

Depending on how complicated the job is, the contract should be one-page or have detailed blueprints. Take time to go over all the details and you could save yourself from a world of trouble later on. You might even want your lawyer to review it if the contract is for a large amount.

Here are some details you should expect to see and agree with before giving your contractor the go ahead.

What work is being done? Within the contract, you should know what job will be completed, the different steps involved and the cost. For example, if a company is doing waterproofing work to prevent your basement from flooding, will they need to rip up your deck or landscaping? If so, will they replace it afterwards or are you responsible for fixing it up? Who’s responsible for the garbage from the job and purchasing the materials?

What product or materials are being used? Before work begins, you’ll want to know what materials are being used. For example, in a kitchen renovation, will they be using granite countertops or laminate? Your budget will have a great influence on this portion and contractors should be able to inform you about the pros and cons of using one material over the other.

Is the allowance amount for materials enough? Sometimes contractors will avoid going through the cost of every single item and they set an allowance amount for how much some materials will cost. While contractors can typically get better pricing, you’ll still want to do your own research and ensure that the amount set will help you get the right quality products and materials you want used.

How will a change to the work be handled? You can’t predict everything and sometimes the best made plans need to be modified. You’ve likely heard stories of contractors starting work, then discovering there’s something wrong in the home’s structure, whether it’s the electrical or support. We always hope for the best, but it’s in your best interest to also discuss what happens when things don’t go according to plan, the costs and when you’ll be expected to pay for them.

How will the construction site be run? Depending on how big the job is, you might need to vacate the premises for a few days or if it’s a smaller renovation, there’s a chance you might be able to stay at home while they work. These are details you should know ahead of time so you can prepare arrangements. The contract should offer some insight into how the space will be cleaned up and when, along with where materials or tools will be stored.

If you’ve made extensive renovations to your property, such as adding another storey to your home, this could make you eligible for an HST rebate. Rebate4U can help you receive the maximum HST housing rebate. Our priority is to provide our clients with the most professional and quality service in obtaining rebates for their new and renovated homes. We are proud to offer our clients the most personal and attentive service, and we make sure that all of our clients are 100% satisfied.

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