Monday, September 10, 2007

Mistake #1 - Not hiring a lawyer

Remember Item #5 from, Please Read Me First? We did not have a lawyer look over the proposal or contract from Dan Stanton.

Why didn't we have a lawyer look at the contract written by Dan? Well, at the time we thought there was no way he was going to screw us over because he had just returned to the Massachusetts area. Also, he was a registered contractor who was going to pull all the permits for the project himself. This was also his first big job and we thought he would do anything to ensure the project went smoothly. All we had to do was submit any changes in writing and ensure he was paid in a timely fashion. The signed contract was specific and thorough enough that we felt good about signing it.

While I believe that the contract helps us more than it helps Dan at this point, hindsight tells us we should have paid a lawyer to review it and suggest changes to limit our liability.

If you live in Massachusetts, you can go to http://www.masslawhelp for assistance in finding a lawyer to assist you with contract review in your area. The service is free.

The lesson here is if you are going to invest the amount of money and time on your home with a home improvement contractor, get a lawyer and have all the paperwork reviewed before giving the contractor ONE dime!
Your contractor should see it as a way of protecting both parties. I would not hire a contractor who would not let a lawyer review all paperwork.

Learn from this mistake, if you don't read another post from this blog, this lesson could save you money and heartache. Next post will look at the project from a cost overview perceptive.

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