Reviewing Your Contract and Final Work Scope
After you go back and forth with your contractor to settle on a final work scope, ask for a copy of that work scope and review it carefully. Are all the following clear to you:
- Is everything you expected to see included in the work scope?
- Which parts of your project will be managed by your contractor, and which parts are you expected to coordinate on your own? (You might be asked to hire other contractors to complete parts of your work scope not directly related to weatherization, like electrical work, hazard remediation, etc.)
- If you qualify for rebates, is it clear how much you are expected to pay vs. how much NHSaves or Efficiency Vermont will pay toward your project?
- What is the payment plan? How much money do you owe, and when?
- Is there a workmanship guarantee?
- What mechanisms are in place for quality assurance?
- Are there any other terms and conditions?
Don’t hesitate to ask your contractor for clarification on these or any other points.
Questions to Ask Your Contractor before Signing a Contract
- Who will be doing each part of the work?
Some contractors will subcontract some or all of your work scope. Ask about the qualifications of everyone who will be working on your home.
- What does the contractor expect you, the customer, to do before coming on site?
This might include:
- Clear your attic or basement of personal items/debris (ask how much needs to be cleared, and whether moving items to the center of the space is sufficient).
- Confirm you can remove yourself and your pets from the property for the designated amount of time (usually 1-2 days) if sprayfoam is being installed.
- Address any health/safety issues (e.g. remediation of vermiculite, mold, etc.)
- Complete any do-it-yourself aspects of the project, if you have made such arrangements with your contractor.
- When can they start the project?
Be sure to share any scheduling needs on your end (e.g. planned vacations, alignment with other home renovation projects, preferred completion deadline)
- How long will the project last?
Will work crews be there all day or just in the morning? Will there be loud machinery or music playing? Will there be dust or construction materials in the living space? Will the work happen on consecutive days, or will the crew need to come back at a later date to finish?
- What, if anything, could change this work scope and price after you sign?
There can be unexpected changes in any project. It doesn’t hurt to ask if your contractor has any sense of what kinds of mid-stream changes could come up in your unique case.
Questions to Ask Yourself before Signing a Contract
- How will I pay for this?
If you are taking out a loan, talk to your lender BEFORE signing your contract.