East Bay Building Contractor Explains Key Contract Section
Home remodelers may come across “general conditions” in their contracts when they work with general construction, air conditioning, or heating professionals. But what are these conditions? Can you ask for edits? What do you need to know to negotiate one of these contracts effectively?
The conditions document the explicit responsibilities of the project owner, architect, and contractor. It is also often called a “keystone,” and it’s the one document used between the owner and other parties working on the project.
General conditions always include the general contractor’s outline of costs that are not directly associated with the project. The provisions account for everything from garbage removal to temporary utility setups and site supervision. It includes allocations for portable toilets for workers, site trainers, office supplies, blueprints, and other costs. It also covers all working needs that are not accounted for under supplies, installation, and other specified costs. The “general conditions” provisions help contractors remain solvent and organized while working, especially on large projects that contain several major moving parts.
A building contractor may sometimes add his additional needs as line items while another will include them as a general markup. If an unscrupulous contractor wants to “hide” profit, or otherwise change the numbers associated with a project, he or she might use “general conditions” to account for the disappeared money.
Most companies make it a practice to stay organized and on top of all work that will be included in general conditions. However, always ask about a company’s policies—find out what may be included on your project so such fees, which may not be transparent at the time of the initial bid, won’t surprise you.
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