Tips That Limit Contractor Liability During Remodeling Projects

The remodeling projects you perform as a contractor transform your client’s house into a home. You face several potential liabilities as you perform your job, though, so consider several tips that reduce your risk.

Purchase Adequate Contractor Insurance

Insurance doesn’t prevent injuries or damages. However, it does protect you if you must file a claim because of a design flaw, personal injury, property damage or other challenge. Discuss details about your business, needs and budget with an insurance agent, and purchase the right policies for your needs.

Limit Distractions

You may be unable to avoid phone calls or other interruptions during the day. However, distractions can cause you to make mistakes that could lead to a future lawsuit.

Ask for Help

Consider hiring an employee or independent contractor for complicated jobs or tasks that require heavy lifting or a spotter. They can provide invaluable assistance so you don’t injure yourself or break something in the house. Be sure to classify your helpers properly so you can avoid large IRS penalties and fines.

Secure Your Tools

It’s convenient to store your tools on the job site. Don’t let them lying around in the open, though. Lock them in a secure box or trailer. Lost, stolen or damaged tools stall the job progress and can be expensive to replace.

Use Caution Tape

Part of the remodeling project may require you to tear out a floor or install insulation. Caution tape or another deterrent protects your hazardous workspace from curious clients and their kids, pets or neighbors.

Maintain a Clean Job Site

Cleanliness reduces injury and illness risks and your liability. Clean up loose nails, sawdust and other debris throughout the day. Lay down a tarp, too, and wear booties if you must walk through your client’s home as you reduce pollution and pollutants.

Remember Your Manners

Friendliness, respect and courtesy won’t keep you safer on the job or prevent an accident. However, manners can increase the likelihood that your client will respect your workspace. They may reduce potential liabilities that occur if an unauthorized person uses your tools or damages a work in progress.

Use a Secure Payment Method

Protect your client's personal information from identity theft. Deposit a check as soon as possible so no one can copy it, and don't store credit card information. 

Finish Projects on Time

If your remodeling contract lists a deadline for project completion, you could face charges if you run over schedule. Some delays may be inevitable, but try to finish on time when possible.

As you perform remodeling jobs in a client’s home, follow these tips. They reduce your liability and protect you and your contractor business.
Need insurance for You, Your Family or Your Business?
We can match you to a qualified, local insurance expert!
Further Reading
When you start a remodeling project, you never know what you might find. Mold could lurk behind the drywall, under sinks, inside shower walls, under carpeting, or above ceilings. Since mold can affect up to 60 percent of homes, plan how to handl...
Simplicity, not a word always associated with contract law. Contracts in the building industry, however, need conceptual simplicity in order to function as a collaborative agreement rather than a cruel and counterproductive game of "gotcha!". Th...
Worker shortages are tough for every employer. Being too selective may mean you sacrifice your deadlines to ensure you keep your quality, being too welcoming to every candidate could mean the complete reversal where quality is sacrificed instead. How...
One of the biggest challenges that a contractor faces on a job site involves the status of independent contractors. Understanding the difference between an "employee" and an "independent contractor" can help you to avoid becoming the legal employer...
Company holiday parties give your employees the chance to relax, network and have fun. You could be liable for your employees' drinking, though. Learn more about your liability and ways to protect yourself as you prepare for your holiday pa...