After you have researched heating contractors and have a list of likely candidates, meet with each to discuss the project. Once you have made a final home heating contractor selection, get together a second time to make final arrangements. And then draw up a formal agreement.
If the home repair project is relatively simple, a signed work order or work agreement should suffice. But if the home heating project is complicated or extensive, a formal contract is best. For instance, if the project includes the purchase and installation of a new gas furnace, oil furnace or electric furnace and a new ductwork system, opt for a detailed contract.
A contract is a binding legal agreement that details the project. It provides a complete description of the home heating project, expectations of all parties concerned, and sets a price for work to be completed.
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Both parties should thoroughly read and understand the terms of the contract before signing it. If there are any terms that are not clear or might be misunderstood, ask for an explanation or revision.
Terms or clauses not included in the contract at the time of signing are not legally binding; verbal agreements and vague references are worthless.
A good heating contractors contract is detailed and specific about all aspects of the project. It should include:
You can create your own heating contractors contract, or use a standard form. If a pre-printed contract form is used, make sure every blank is filled in; leave no empty spaces. If an aspect does not apply, fill it in with N/A (does not apply). Strike out any clauses you don't agree with or that are not relevant. Or write in a home heating clause before signing it.
- Full names, addresses, and contact information of both parties. If the home heating contractor works for a company, include the full name, address, and contact information for the company.
- Physical address where the work will be done.
- Start and projected completion dates. Include acceptable reasons for delay. (Weather, material availability/shipping delays, etc.).
- Detailed project plans for the work to be completed.
- Detailed specifications on the type home heating system used, including model and serial numbers. And any other materials, including hardware, and fixtures.
- Details of home heating project cost; including itemized labor and material costs. Also, when payment is due.
- Assurance of full compliance with all building codes (if applicable).
- Aspects of the project contracted out to a third party. For instance, if an electric furnace is being installed the services of a licensed electrician might be required. Or the services for another type professional for aspects of a new oil furnace or gas furnace installation.
- Specification of any required permits, and who is responsible for obtaining and paying for them.
- Proof the service provider is a licensed heating contractor, and insurance coverage information.
- Complete product warranty information.
- Workmanship warranty information.
- Specification of who is responsible for cleaning up the site at the end of the workday, including old equipment/parts and trash removal.
- A release of liens, protecting the homeowner from charges, debts, or liens filed against the home heating contractor.
Again — verbal contracts are worthless! Even if A written contract signed by both parties protects the homeowner AND the home heating contractor.