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Tips to Homeowners

April 05, 1987|Armand L. Fontaine

Question: I have just signed a contract with a contractor to remodel my bathroom. However, I have had "buyer's remorse" and would like to get out of the contract. How do I do this?

Answer: By now it is probably too late. However, you do have the right to rescind any contract on home improvement work within three working days of the time you signed the contract.

Also, it is illegal for a contractor to require more than 10% down on a home improvement project before starting work or to require payments that exceed the amount of work done during any particular stage of construction. It is usually wise to specify in the contract that 10% of the funds will be paid only after the closing of the lien period.

Q: I recently began a home improvement project with a reputable contractor whom I have known for many years. Shortly after the project started, I was served with preliminary lien notices from many of the material suppliers and subcontractors. Does this mean that I am being liened?

A: No. The law requires that subcontractors and dealers who supply materials file a preliminary lien notice within 20 days of the time they deliver the goods or start work. This merely informs you that they have the right to lien should they not get paid.

Even though the law specifies that subcontractors and material dealers do this, many of them do not do so out of fear that the homeowner will become upset and think that they are liening the project. Many general contractors will exert pressure on their suppliers because they usually have to spend a great amount of time trying to explain the noticeto their client.

When you pay the contractor, you should get a release of lien documents from these suppliers to ensure that you will not be liened in the future.

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