Before you sign an agreement with a general contractor to have work done on your home in North Carolina, you want to make sure that you do, in fact, agree on all the terms it includes. According to FindLaw, there are several key aspects of the construction contract that you should review carefully.
The contractor will probably have to make many purchases of materials, which could affect your budget and your satisfaction of the completed work. You want to know that the contractor will get quality materials, but you may also want him or her to stay within a certain price range. Alternately, you may want a certain brand of materials, or a specific level of quality. These are things that should be spelled out in detail in your contract.
There is the potential for a variety of expenses in addition to the costs of materials. Although you may primarily be focused on the costs of labor, you should also inspect the contract for additional fees, including late fees on payments, interest on late payments and attorney fees if you breach the contract.
A breach of contract could lead to considerable expense for both you and the contractor if the dispute cannot be resolved informally. Some contracts allow a lawsuit to be filed in a court immediately after a breach, while others provide for some type of alternative dispute resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Agreeing to go through arbitration or mediation can save considerable expense for all parties. However, depending on the particular wording of the contract, this can be more costly than resolving a dispute in the court system. Always have an attorney with construction law experience review your contract before you sign it so you understand what rights you have and what rights you are giving up.
This information is general in nature and should not be interpreted as legal advice.