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Homeowners: Protect yourself as remodeling projects soar

If you are like many homeowners across North Carolina, you are looking for a housing upgrade. Typically, this would involve putting your home on the market and looking to buy a new one. However, we are in a very tricky housing market with very low supply in many areas. This combined with a high demand leads to skyrocketing house prices and bidding wars, which many buyers prefer to avoid.

Because of this, homeowners are choosing to remodel their own homes rather than buying a new one, leading to a boom in housing remodels. If this sounds like your situation, you should take note of a few things you can do to protect yourself as a homeowner, and they should start with your construction contract.

  1. Make sure you have a contract in place. Too many people go ahead and approve work without first getting the scope of work put in writing. You might feel rushed to hire a certain company or assured that a contract is just a formality, but neglecting to have a contract can make the situation incredibly difficult should a concern or dispute arise.
  2. Have an attorney review the contract before you sign it. A construction contract is just like any legal document; it binds you and the other party to certain obligations. If the terms are unfair or unenforceable, you may not want to sign it. However, without legal guidance, you can easily overlook some potentially concerning clauses.
  3. Set and enforce clear expectations and rules in the contract. With the boom in remodeling projects, chances are your project is not the only one your construction company is working on. Make sure your home is a priority by establishing deadlines and clearly defining the expected work to be completed.
  4. Consider paying subcontractors directly instead of giving all the money to contractors. In the event that your contractor fails to pay subcontractors and/or supplier, you could be blamed for non-payment and a mechanic's lien can be placed on your home.

Remodeling your home can be a chaotic experience, especially when it seems like everyone else is in the same boat as you. However, taking the time and making the effort to protect yourself and your home can set you apart and help you avoid messy contract disputes later on.

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