There’s nothing worse than having to tell a client “it’s in the contract”, but that’s exactly why you need one. As a construction contractor, you have to make sure the scope of the project is clearly defined and that the obligations of both parties are stated. To take an extra headache away for you, we put together 5 of the best construction contract templates that you can use for future clients and projects.
If you don’t find a template that you like, don’t worry! We’ll tell you how to write your own construction contract as well.
#1 – Free Construction Contract Template
Template Source: legaltemplates.net
An amazing feature about this site and template is the ability to customize the details before downloading your document. Rather than downloading a template and filling in the blanks, you answer a few quick questions about your company, a description of the work, payments, and other details on the front end.
Simple, customizable, and free!
#2 JotForm Free Construction Contract Template
Template Source: JotForm
JotForm allows you to infuse your branding into a beautiful construction contract. The online PDF editor is user-friendly and has a surprising amount of design options. If you’re looking to use your own fonts, colors, and images in your construction contract, JotForm is a great choice for you.
#3 – Construction Template by Pandadoc
Template Source: PandaDoc
If you want a template with tons of detail and no questions unanswered, look no further. This template outlines everything from compensation to change orders and provisions with four to five sub-points for each. It is long, but you’ll save yourself from any contract discrepancies in the future.
#4 – Contract for Simple Home Repairs
Template Source: HomeAdvisor
You may not need a 70-page legal document if you’re going to fix a small hole in someone’s drywall. Of course, this contract is still legally binding but it’s straight to the point. Outline the job, the cost, a few signatures, and you’re good to go!
#5 – Subcontractor Agreement
Template Source: Employmentcontracts.com
An excellent option if you need to hire a subcontractor for a job. On Employmentcontracts.com you can use the general subcontractor agreement or choose from trade-specific templates such as electrician, cleaning, or painting subcontractor templates.
How to Write a Construction Contract
As you looked through the templates above you may have noticed some re-occurring subject matter such as timelines, work descriptions, clauses, and costs. When you’re writing your own construction contract, you have to ensure you’re clearly outlining everything you want the client to agree to before starting the job. Even if you don’t use a template, referencing great contract examples is a good way to ensure all your bases are covered. A construction contract will vary depending on the type of work being done but generally, all construction contracts should include a few key components.
Here are the steps to writing a contract:
Step 1: Write an Introduction – Your introduction should include a basic overview of the agreement. Who are the parties that are entering into the contract, when was the agreement entered into, where will the work be completed, and when will the work be complete?
Example from JotForm: This Construction Contract is made on (date) and indicates the terms of the agreement between (your company name) and (client name). The property for the construction to be completed is located at: (address)
Step 2: Identify Parties and Collect Contact Info – State the name, business name, business address, and contact information for both parties. For the client, you need to be sure to include an area that they can enter their primary and business phone numbers, email addresses, and physical mailing addresses.
Step 3: Outline the Details of the Project – Ensure you write every task that is to be completed by the end of the agreement. This protects you from a client claiming that there was more work to be done or refusing to pay based on the work completed. On the flip side, this also guarantees that they will get what they paid and agreed to.
Step 4: Give a Project Timeline and Completion Date – Be specific with your timeline so that there isn’t any confusion in the future. You will also need to take into account the possibility of unexpected issues occurring and describe what will happen if that’s the case.
Example: If the project cannot be completed by (date), (name of contractor) will notify the client at least 24 hours in advance and provide an updated timeline.
Step 5: State the Cost and Payment Schedule – Before writing your contract you should provide your client with a cost estimate. Here’s an example of a cost estimate from our post on Estimate Templates.
Detail your cost estimate in your construction contract and include a repayment timeline. A good rule of thumb is to always obtain a deposit prior to starting a new job, which should also be explained in the contract.
Step 6: Include Clauses and a Change Order Agreement – Clauses such as a stop work or a stop payment clause protect both you and the client if either party is in breach of the contract. If the client hasn’t paid you, the stop work clause in your contract will legally allow you to stop working until payment is received. A change order agreement will be important in the instance that the scope of the project changes causing further costs to the contractor. It’s important to write the procedure for handling change orders.
Step 7: Provide the Client with a Warranty – This step is optional and not a legal requirement but most clients will want some sort of warranty listed on the contract. Your warranty will state that you will take responsibility if there is a problem with the quality of work.
Step 8: Add a Line to Sign and Date – Your contract isn’t legally binding without a dated signature from both parties. The signatures show that everyone is in agreeance with all of the terms of the agreement.
You may need to modify some of the information in your contract based on the type of construction company you own. Lastly, be sure to check on any state laws affecting public or private construction projects, they might need to be mentioned in your contract.