Remodeling a home can increase its value. It can also be expensive and stressful if you pay for work that is not performed or performed poorly. Under the Home Repair and Remodeling Act, a contractor is required to provide a homeowner with a written contract for any work over $1,000. The written contract must include the total cost, including parts and materials. In addition, the contract must state the business name and address of the contractor. If the contractor uses a PO Box, the contract must state the contractor’s home address.
Before signing any home repair or remodeling contract over $1,000, the contractor is required provide the homeowner with a copy of the “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights” pamphlet. The Pamphlet states that contracts should include the following basic terms:
(1) Contractor’s full name, address, and telephone number.
(2) A description of the work to be performed.
(3) Starting and estimated completion dates.
(4) Total cost of work to be performed.
(5) Schedule and method of payment, including downpayment, subsequent payments and final payment.
(6) A provision stating the grounds for termination of the contract by either party.
(7) A provision stating that, if the contractor fails to commence or complete work within the contracted time period, the homeowner may cancel and may be entitled to a refund of any down payment or other payments made towards the work.
The Act also requires contractors to maintain public liability and property damage insurance in the amount of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence of bodily injury, $50,000 per occurrence for property damage, and in the amount of $10,000 per occurrence for improper home repair or remodeling not in conformance with applicable State, county or municipal building codes, unless the contractor has a net worth of at least $1,000,000.
A violation of the Home Repair and Remodeling Act is considered a violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, which allows the homeowner to recover their attorneys’ fees from the contractor.
Remember, a homeowner has three business days to cancel any contract if the sale is made and signed at the home.
DeBlasio Law Group, LLC has extensive experience with the Home Repair and Remodeling Act and the Consumer Fraud & Deceptive Business Practices Act, including advising home owners on contracts with construction companies. Visit our website for more information at DeBlasioLawGroup.com.