Who’s the Boss?

This Old House, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Review-Chapter Three

In this chapter of “This Old House, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning”the authors concern themselves with aspects of the contractor hiring process. It is understood that some homeowners like to be involved in the installation of features or the entire build of their home. Although participation is encouraged, it is also mentioned that sometimes homeowners can slow down the process by constantly interfering with work days and building procedures.

The book offers guidelines for choosing a contractor and even outlines points of interest that should be contained within a contract. Personality and professional features of a good contractor are elaborate on with very practical suggestions for selecting the right people for the job.

Contractors should be friendly, professional, experienced, honest, and up to date with manufacturing and professional organization standards. They should have all appropriate licenses and certifications and have the correct amount of insurance. In short, the author’s recommend one “buy the contractor first, then the hardware.”

When finally arriving at a deal with an installer or contractor, the following contractual ingredients are recommended.

  • The contractor should be properly licensed and insured.

  • The contract should designate tasks and assign who is responsible for the task.

  • The contract should describe materials.

  • The contract should outline items that are not included in the job.

  • The contract should have a timetable including when they will start and when they will finish.

  • The contract should outline charges, payment schedule, retainer terms and terms of completing payment.

  • The contract should outline the work done by the homeowner and which work is done by the contractor.

  • The contract should define any warranties and the limits of those warranties.

  • The contract should allow for a mid-project reassessment and an evaluation of progress.

  • The contract should allow for changes, in writing through a formal “change order.”

  • The contract should include an arbitration clause.

  • The contract should guarantee the right of rescission or the opportunity to change your mind within 72hrs.

This chapter is useful to assist the homeowner to understand how to select the appropriate contractor for the task at hand.

To read chapter four, click here.