In addition to the essential elements, you may wish to include optional clauses:
Holdback clause. You may want to emphasise that the final payment will be withheld until you’ve inspected and approved the work. This clause gives you more leverage if you need to motivate the contractor to correct any problems. It’s sometimes included in the section that details the payment schedule.
List of kitchen contractors and suppliers. If you’re working with a general contractor, the contract can list all the anticipated subcontractors and suppliers for the job. Should the general contractor fail to pay these parties, they could have legal claims against you. You should obtain a lien release or waiver from each of them once they’re paid in full.
Materials substitution. On larger jobs, architects or g general contractors sometimes allow subcontractors to substitute materials so they’ll be able to work with their regular suppliers. This clause can specify that subcontractors may not make substitutions for specific materials, such as a particular flooring or countertop product.
Delays. The “acts of nature” clause is designed to protect the contractor from delays caused by natural disasters, strikes and so forth. It can also protect the contractor from delays caused by clients.
Warranties. Labour and materials are generally warrantied by the kitchens contractor for a specified period of time, typically one year. Some materials may be warrantied for a longer period by the manufacturer.
Contractors duties. This clause can stipulate additional responsibilities or pledges to be assumed by the contractor. For example, a contractor can pledge to keep tools and hazardous materials safely locked up and out of the reach of children and pets.
Owners duties. Some contractors prefer that the contract also lists certain owner responsibilities, such as timely payments, selection of materials and final inspection.
Insurance. On larger jobs, the contract should have a clause stating that each contractor is insured. Insurance against accidental loss due to fire or other disaster is normally provided by your homeowners insurance. Check your policy to see if such losses are covered; if not, you can take out a short-term policy to cover the project while work is under way.
Dilute resolution. An arbitration clause states that in the event of a dispute, you and the contractor agree to abide by the decision of an impartial third party who will hear both sides of the argument. Arbitration has become an increasingly popular way to avoid court action, mostly because it’s much quicker. In most communities, there are services that offer professional arbitration and mediation.