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What type of lawyer would review a Home Improvement Contract between homeowner & contractor and what should i expect cost to be?

Scarsdale, NY |

Looking to enter agreement with a contractor for approximately $150,000 in home improvements and want to have someone review contract and payment terms to ensure that i, the home owner, have sufficient coverage within the contract for work to be performed, progress payments and any provisions.

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Attorney answers 3


A local real estate lawyer who handles residential transactions may be able to do this. You want someone who will know what the contractor left out that you want in.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


You should contact a real estate attorney in Westchester County to go over the contract with you and be sure that you are sufficiently protected. Our office can refer you to such an attorney whom we have confidence in if you are interested.

Among the issues that you will need to discuss is making sure that the general contractor has you and your spouse (if married) listed as additional insured on every policy covering their work. You will also have to make sure that the contract between you and the contractor has an indemnification provision that protects you in the event of a loss caused by the contractor's negligence or that of his or her employees and agents.

Additionally, you should contact your homeowners insurance agent to go over the coverage that you have and discuss the renovations. This will ensure that you have proper insurance coverage in the event of a loss. I would also check out the contractor and be sure that they are licensed to perform home improvement by the County of Westchester (go on the County's website to perform a search) and also check to see if the company is accredited by the BBB.

Finally, I recommend having an engineer work for you and inspect the progress of the construction on a periodic basis to be sure that everything is going according to plan and code. Having your own engineer inspecting the progress is money well spent

Good luck

Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. The answer given is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for contacting an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction and obtaining legal advice from such an attorney.


An attorney adept in real estate construcdtion disputes and the types of contract provisions involved is probably your best bet. A $150k investment warrants a thorough review by such an attorney and there will be negotiations involved almost certainly. The cost will depend upon who you use, as geographically attorneys may differ radically in cost, so you can expand your scope in this type of matter which is not litigation and there is no court proceeding involved. As you are aware, Scarsdale will probably have very high attorney fee rates. However, for convenience you might very well choose to select a local attorney.

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