Craftsman Book Company

  • Time and Materials Home Improvement Contracts


    Many home improvement contractors prefer to work under time and material (cost-plus) contracts. And for good reason. Surprises are common when remodeling or repairing an existing dwelling. With a cost-plus contract, a contractor doesn't have to absorb the loss if there's a surprise once work gets started.



    But there's a problem. Six states require that home improvement contracts show a total cost for the work in dollars and cents:


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  • Home Improvement Contracting in Indiana


    All states tip the playing field in favor of property owners who contract for residential work. Nearly every state requires very specific notices and disclosures in residential construction contracts. Even the slightest defect in an agreement can have consequences – fines, revocation of a license, charges for attorney fees, no right to collect or even jail time. All of these penalties fall on the contractor. The property owner gets a free ride.


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  • Contracting in D.C. -- The Home Solicitation Sales Notice


    Not many residential contractors think of themselves as door-to-door salespeople. But the law in most states puts nearly all residential contractors in the home solicitation sales business.



    "So what," you say. "I'm not doing anything shady. I deliver real value and have nothing but satisfied customers."


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  • Construction Contracting in Maine


    The legislature in Augusta has earned a reputation for piling on law that affects construction contractors. This month's Maine Supreme Court decision in Cellar Dwellers, Inc. v. Dominic D'Alessio, Jr. (2010 ME 32) illustrates the point.


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  • Construction Subcontract Flow-Down


    Every construction contractor and subcontractor has heard the term flow-down. A few probably feel they were washed away by flow-down. I don’t think that’s necessary and will suggest a better way.


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  • 3-Day Right to Cancel – Contractors Beware


    Every contractor who does residential work knows about a home owner's three-day right to cancel. But what you may not know is how vicious this innocuous little form can be. Here's a short quiz to test your understanding. Answers are below.


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  • Changes in Minnesota Construction Contracts


    Every contractor who builds, repairs or remodels homes or apartments in Minnesota knows about One, Two, Ten.


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  • Maryland Custom Home Contracts


    If there's a load limit on construction contracts, Maryland must be getting close. The legislators in Annapolis require 21 distinct notices and disclosures in custom home building contracts. As a class, buyers of custom homes in Maryland must be among the best protected anywhere. Omitting any of these disclosures carries heavy consequences. More on that later.


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  • Construction Contracting in Hawaii


    Hawaii has a reputation for making life difficult for contractors who don't toe the line. Sometimes the results border on the ridiculous, at least from a contractor's perspective. Just ask Michael Sakatani, a Honolulu contractor doing business as 808 Development LLC.


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  • Sunset of the Texas RCCA


    The Texas Residential Construction Commission Act (TRCCA) has joined the Alamo as a memorable episode in Texas history. Like defenders of the Alamo, defenders of TRCCA went down swinging. But the result was about the same: A commendable effort that came up a little short.


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