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Know What’s in Your Contract!

January 3rd, 2018

We work very hard to provide the best possible service and end product for each construction project we undertake. As experienced contractors, we understand that unforeseen circumstances occur. Thus, we prepare a binding legal contract that provides the details of what we are expected to do and how our customers agree to perform. As an example, we’ll explain the contractual process for buying a Katahdin Cedar Log Home package with Big Twig Homes completing the construction of the home.

Katahdin Package Proposal
The Katahdin Package Proposal is a document prepared by Katahdin to detail all the elements and materials included in your log home package. Working from the design, the Katahdin team will provide an itemized list of components included in the package price. Once your design has been finalized, we’ll review this document with you so that you understand what is included, and what is not in the home package you are purchasing. It’s worth noting that Katahdin provides a complete package, including floor and roof systems. log wall shells, windows, interior walls, stairs, railings, porches and many other essential items necessary to complete our log home. The warranty for materials included in your Katahdin log home package is in effect for 25 years.

Your deposit is required at the time you sign this proposal document. Once the package contents are milled, assembled and shipped, the remaining payment is due in full at delivery.

Big Twig Homes LLC Construction Contract
The contract we draw up will cover all aspects of the actual construction of your new home. When we sit down to review the contract we will go over each point and answer your questions so that you understand the contract and all its elements. Here are some main points to review:

  • Scope of Work—This is the complete description of your building project. It will include a detailed list of all elements of constructing and completing your home. This is often accompanied by an addendum that lists pricing for about 20 other elements that are a part of home construction, including fill dirt, foundation, infrastructure (utilities, road), private septic, well, and plumbing. Other things such as flooring, cabinets, lighting, kitchen and bath fixtures will have allowances noted.
  • Lump Sum Price — This is the final bottom line price agreed to in this contract. This amount may increase or decrease if there are change orders authorized during construction.
  • Start Date & Completion Date — These dates are required in the contract for financial institutions, and are subject to weather and materials availability.
  • Exclusions — Much as we prepare for building on a specific location, there are unforeseen issues that arise that require additional funding. Such exclusions are the presence of ledge that would require blasting, well deeper than 500 ft., well casings over 20 feet.
  • Authorization for Change Orders — This will include the signatures of parties allowed to authorize change order forms for changes to original construction work. The change orders will document any changes required in the course of construction. A blank change order form is included in the contract for review.
  • Payment Schedule — This will note the milestones for each draw payout. Each payout requires a third-party inspection so we try to keep these to 4-5 payouts. A final punch list holdback clause is included and will require completion of a final punch list to authorize final payment.
  • Warranty — The State of Maine requires we provide a one-year warranty on our construction jobs. We also are required to attach the State of Maine’s Home Construction & Repair Warning which details rights and responsibilities under Maine law.
  • Small Claims & Binding Arbitration — This clause directs disputes to be reconciled through small claims court for disputes below a certain amount or to binding arbitration.
  • Work Stoppage for Default— This clause advises that any non-payment or default by the buyer or the buyer’s representatives will result in immediate work stoppage.
  • —  This clause notes that we are contractors, not licensed architects or engineers. Some changes may require these professional services when the scope of work is revised.

In closing, we understand the importance of our contract with each of our customers. It’s why we spend a lot of time reviewing it and ensuring that clients understand it before signing on the dotted line.