Once you have selected a deck builder or contractor to construct your deck it is imperative that a contract be signed. The way that the contract is written depends upon the type of work and the kind of relationship between you and the builder.
Contracts do not have to be lengthy and complicated. But they do need to include all the clauses and information that will protect you and guarantee that the work will be done properly. If you wish to control the process you can purchase standard contract forms at business supply outlets that you can use or adapt. Or you can use the one supplied by the deck builder/cpntractor.
Make it a point to never ever allow work to start on your project without the contract being signed first. Never assume that the deck builder/contractor will do whatever he says. Unfortunately you cannot completely trust everyone. The signed contract is the only document that proves that the builder/contractor agreed to the price and promised to contruct your deck in a specific manner with specific materials in a specific time frame.
There are 11 extremely important items to have included in a deck contract:
1. Business information – The name or company name of the deck builder/contractor should be included along with his/her address, phone number and especially the company’s registered business number.
2. Client information – Your name, address and phone number should be indicated and the address of the deck building work site if it is different than your residential address.
3. Date – It is important that the date of contract signing is included.
4. Work description – It is important that a clear statement or series of statements be included that spell out precisely what work will be done by the deck builder/contractor with specific references to materials, dimensions, special features and any other details related to the project.
5. Price – The total price of the work should be included. This would include the costs of materials, labor and any taxes payable.
6. Payment schedule – At various stages of deck completion periodic payments will have been agreed upon as payable. The amounts and specific times for payment would need to be clearly indicated.
7. Diagram – A labeled diagram that clearly indicates the deck location in relation to the house and property lines, dimensions, shape, special features and different elevations should be included.
8. Warranty – A clear statement regarding the warranty or workmanship guarantee should be included. It would clearly indicate the warranty time duration from the date of project completion. Most workmanship guarantees are for 1 year.
9. Client responsibilities – A clear statement of any responsibilities that you would have should be included. These would cover such tasks as location of underground services, work site clearance, etc.
10. Work start/completion – It is important that you have the projected startup date and the completion date included in the contract. This can change slightly in the event of prolonged periods of bad weather.
11. Signature spaces – It is vital that the signatures of both parties be included in the contract to make it binding.
You should take the time prior to signing the contract to talk at length with the deck builder/contractor about the deck project and make sure that all details are included in the contract to your satisfaction. This will eliminate misunderstandings once the construction starts.
As far as a payment schedule is concerned, avoid paying out large initial deposits. A possible payment schedule might be:
1. A 10% deposit when the contract is signed
2. A 30% payment when the deck support posts are fixed in place
3. A 30% payment when the deck framework is completed
4. A 30% payement when the deck has been completed to the your satisfaction
Your deck is an important addition to your property and lifestyle. To make sure that it is built properly and lasts for years to come, hire a reputable deck builder/contractor and make certain that you sign a contract in the process.
Richard Vande Sompel is a professional deck builder of 35 years and over 850
decks built and is the author of “How to Plan, Design and Build a Deck from
Start to Finish”. To Discover More About
Deck Contracts and Claim your 2
FREE Deck Plans, Insider Report, MP3 Audio and discover everything to know about
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