Renovating – Finalizing Your Contract

If you’re set to undertake an exterior renovation, your finalized contract is not something you should take lightly. Depending on the size and scope of your project, the intricacies of a contract will vary, but there are certain points that should pretty much always be covered. Without a proper contract, you could be in for a rude awakening with your renovation project, so make sure you’re aware of what your contract should cover before you finalize it.

Contract Basics

Some of the basics that need to be included in your contract are: The parties (you and the contractor), including street addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and the renovator’s business or GST number; addendums or all attachments that are part of the contract, such as blueprints, a list of materials and products, and change order forms; a description of work to be done and not to be done by the renovator; start and completion dates; and terms of payment.


Always ensure holdbacks are written into the contract. On each payment you make to your renovator, you can hold back a certain percentage for a certain period of time to protect yourself against subcontractors. Holdbacks are put into place in the case that the contractor doesn’t pay the subcontractor, and they end up placing a lien on your property.

You also need to write change orders into your contract, which are write ups that must be signed by both parties to accept changes in work once the renovation has already started. Changes to the contract price and schedule should be written on the change order. Allowances are a sum in the contract price allotted to the homeowners to select things like sidings and windows, and contingencies are a sum set aside to deal with unexpected issues with the home.

Standards of work also need to be written into the contract. This covers the renovators commitment to performing their work to their best ability, causing minimum inconvenience to your household, protecting your property and neighbouring properties, and their responsibility for daily clean up. The renovator’s liability insurance and the workers’ compensation coverage has to be paid up to date and proof of coverage must be attached to the contract.

Finishing Touches

Your contract should specify who will obtain the municipal and/or utility permits, inspections and approvals required for the renovation. It should also have the renovator’s warranty that describes what is covered and for how long. The subcontractors that are going to do work on your home can be listed and you should outline the use of facilities and utilities such as water, electricity and washroom. Finally, you should include a dispute resolution in the incident of a conflict.

Finding a Reliable Renovator

If you want to ensure you find a reliable renovator, take a look at our list of Premium Renovators. Gentek works with leading contractors across the country and only partners with those who meet strict quality, performance and insurance rules. These renovators will help ensure your product choices and installation are exactly what you have in mind. Your written contract will always specify the price, work to be done and a time frame, so you’ll know exactly what to expect. Use the Contractor Locator to find an elite contractor in your area!

If it’s time to sign the contract for your exterior renovation, make sure these details are outlined and in place. If you have any concerns, may sure to take it up with your renovator before signing! Happy renovating!