In a previous post, our blog discussed how it’s important for both a homeowner and a prospective builder to understand their rights and responsibilities under Florida law before embarking on a remodeling project or building an entirely new home.
In keeping with this theme, today’s post will continue to briefly explore some of the basics of state law as it relates to this now-thriving area of construction.
Construction contracts for remodeling or building a home
Before any ground can be broken on a home building or remodeling project, both the contractor and the homeowner must first execute a legally binding contract setting forth their respective rights and expectations. However, this is not something that should be done hastily and requires careful consideration by both parties.
In general, the homeowner will be presented with a contract by the contractor for review. Here, the homeowner should give very strong consideration to sitting down to carefully review the contract before signing it, asking the contractor any questions that arise and making any changes to the contract before signing it.
From the contractor’s perspective, it’s important to ensure that the contract has certain provisions in order to ensure that it is not only clear and concise, but legally enforceable.
Some of these provisions could include the following:
- A legal description of the land
- The total price of the contract, as well as the stages and the amounts to be paid as the project moves forward
- A complete description of the planned construction and dated specifications
- Timeframes for both the commencement and completion of the project
- Insurance arrangements (commercial general liability, builder’s risk, work comp, etc.)
Given the importance of the contract in any building or remodeling project, it’s imperative that either the homeowner and the contractor also give strong consideration to speaking with an experienced legal professional if they have any doubts as doing so can go a long way toward preventing any construction disputes.
The Florida Bar, “Building a home,” July 2014