Residential Contractors, Be Sure to Have these Clauses in Your Contracts

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I have often “mused” on the need to have a good solid construction contract at the beginning of a project. While this is always true, it is particularly true in residential contracting where a homeowner may or may not know the construction process or have experience with large scale construction. Often you, as a construction general contractor, are providing the first large scale construction that the homeowner has experienced. For this reason, through meetings and the construction contract, setting expectations early and often is key.

As a side note to this need to set expectations, the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) and the Virginia General Assembly require certain clauses to be in every residential construction contract. DPOR strictly enforces these contractual items and failure to put them in your contracts can lead to fines, penalties and possibly even revocation of a contractor’s license.

These 10 provisions include the requirement of a written contract (something I know any reader of Musings does already), listing of your license number, class and classification, time of completion, etc. and are found in 18 VAC 50-22-260. One recent 2015 change added a provision that requires a statement about the Virginia Contractor Transaction Recovery Fund that includes information on how to contact the Board for claim information. While this change is one that is 2 years old now (effective July 1, 2015), the fact of the change highlights the need for residential contractors to continue to review their license requirements and the Virginia Administrative Code and statutes to assure that they are in compliance with these requirements.

As always, I recommend that any construction professional in Virginia consult with an experienced Virginia construction lawyer when drafting or editing their construction contracts.

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