A contract protects the contractor and the property owner when a building project is about to begin. By clearly stating the details of the upcoming construction in writing, both parties agree on what should happen. Once the paperwork is signed, if either party breaches its terms, legal action may be taken. Know these things before stepping forward with your home build or renovation in Bradford.

Must Haves

The contract should state the total cost to the property owner, what work will done, and what the contractor will supply to complete the project. This includes labor, equipment, material, and other services. When a contractor gets permits, this is an indication that the project head abides by local building codes.

The contractor is also to haul away all the debris from the project and dispose of it in accordance with local regulations. If work is to be done on a structure that was built before 1977, the building expert should be certified in lead-safe practices, skills that will minimize the dissemination of lead dust, which is harmful to health.

The owner of the home or business should ensure that the contractor has liability insurance and that he or she pays workers’ compensation, if there are employees. Property owners can contact the local agency that has jurisdiction over contractors to verify this. If the entity doing the work doesn’t have these generally recommended, and sometimes required, elements of running a construction business, then an injured party may end up suing the property owner.

The property should be left reasonably clean after the project is completed. Be aware that it’s not the job of the contractor to leave the property sparkling clean. That kind of cleaning is the responsibility of the property owner.


If there are drawings for the project, they should be attached to this agreement between property owner and contractor. Likewise, the name of the person who drew up the plans needs to be mentioned. This contract should state that if there is a discrepancy between the plans and what is stated in the document, then the specifications take precedent.

Contract Exclusions

Work may be delayed because of bad weather, local or national disasters, the property owner is late making payment, labor strikes, changes are made to the work that is to be done, and more. If a contractor finds asbestos, its removal will add to the cost of project.

The Schedule

Dates should be mentioned. The date or week that the project will begin must be stated. Also to be noted are the dates for the completion of various steps of the project as well as the date on which the property owner can move in.


Most contracts require a down payment before work begins. The written agreement should then list the amount of payment due after each stage of the work is completed. After each payment, the contractor should write on the contract the amount paid, the date, and sign the transaction. If permits are pulled, the contract should state that property owners will not pay the bill in full until the property passes final inspection.