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How to decide what kind of contract you'll need to get your home repair or home improvement job done most effectively.

A home repair or improvement contract is almost always one of two basic types: fixed-fee or time-and-materials. The one that is right for you depends on the type of job you have in mind and how certain you are about just how it should be done.

Fixed Fee - If the job you want done can be described clearly in a sentence or two, and if you can write clear and detailed specifications for how you want it done, you may be ready to enter into a fixed-fee contract.

Time-and-Materials - If your project is open to change and inspiration as the work unfolds, and if you welcome input from and a dialogue with your contractor(s), you may be better served by a time-and-materials contract. It can save you time, stress and money - from implementing cost-saving opportunities as they arise and from reducing the amount of time your contractor has to spend on paperwork. You still need to start the process by describing your ultimate goal or goals in a sentence or two and specifying, in writing, how you want the work done.

~ Bill Lewis

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