How to Write A Construction Contract

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Creating A Well Written And Detailed Construction ProposalHow To Write A Construction Proposal

Regardless of the cost of a project a written construction contract protects all parties involved.

A well written construction contract clearly details and “paints a picture” of what you are promising to do. Details in this proposal include specific materials, payment schedule and costs.

A professional and well-written contract not only portrays you in a professional light but protects you and your client from misunderstandings and conflict.

A construction contract should always be specific with regard to the scope of work. This protects you from having to do work you had no original intention of doing. You know what I mean that dreaded “I assumed you were also going to do X, Y and Z?” or even worse “ I thought that was included.”

Those comments usually accompany a client holding back the last payment until you agree to do something for them that you never agreed to but they “assumed” it was covered.

How do you protect from that? By providing the client a well written and detailed scope of work proposal!

Not only does a detailed proposal protect you from having to do extra work it ensures that you can charge for any extra work not originally agreed on. Extra things like add on items, changes mid-project and the dreaded hidden conditions.

Spend Time On The Scope Of Work:

Most of my construction proposal is a template and I fill in the blanks on the owner information, payments, start and finish dates, etc. The scope of work section is where I spend most of my time ad is where you should pay the MOST attention to.

This is by far the MOST IMPORTANT section of the contract and you need to be as detailed as possible.

For more tips and sample wording for your contract READ MORE

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Robert Robillard is the editor of the blog, A Concord Carpenter, Assistant Editor of Tool Box Buzz and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. Rob hosts the Concord Carpenter... Read more

8 comments on “How to Write A Construction Contract

  1. Kimber

    Great Topic Rob,
    I agree, clarity is essential- making sure that both parties have the same expectations of what work is included is key.
    I’ve worked for several legal professionals, lawyers and judges. They all seem to think that keeping any disputes out of a courtroom is crucial; legal suits are a tremendous waste of time and money.
    Some of those legal pros advised us to include a dispute clause in our contracts; they helped us write this :

    In the event of irreconcilable dispute between Contractor and Owner, both parties may mutually agree to mediation or else the matter will be handled as follows: The matter will be submitted to binding arbitration by any arbitration body agreeable to both parties. If Contractor and Owner are unable to agree on an arbitrator, each will select an outside party to represent their interests. The two outside parties will between them select a third party to act as arbitrator, and a final decision will be made by majority rule. Any arbitration decision will be binding on all parties.

    Rules may vary from state to state, check with a local attorney.
    Contracts are rarely fool-proof or jerk-proof.
    It is also important that both parties have integrity;
    which leads to another topic:
    How do you screen your customers?

    1. Kimber

      The Tips and Samples link at the end of the Article are very helpful and enlightening. Massachusetts seems to more requirements than Colorado; more detail often provides better protection for both parties.

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