What is a California
A California construction contract is a written document that complies with California
construction contract law. For example, a California home improvement contract is
required for a bathroom remodeling project or a room addition job. A deck construction
contract or pool construction contract must also meet the requirements for a California
home improvement contract. A commercial building project such as a store or office
requires a California commercial construction contract.
California construction contractors are required to use construction contract forms
that include certain notices and disclosures. For residential construction, California
Business and Professions Code § 7159 requires that the standard California construction
contract form include a sample construction change order contract and a notice that changes are
not permitted without a written change order. A building contract in CA will be
just one part of the "construction documents" that typically include building plans
(drawings) and written construction specifications (a description of what's required).
What can I do
with California Construction Contract Writer?
What can a CA construction contractor do with Craftsman's California Construction
- Draft exactly the right contract by answering interview questions
- Make a legal contract that will protect the builder in court if there's a disagreement.
- Create subcontracts based on the prime contract.
- Makes it easy for CA construction contractors to take control of the contract drafting
- Keep up-to-date with changes in CA construction contract law.
- Include only the warranty protection required for the job.
Create a simple construction contract or a contract as detailed as the job requires.
How is California
Construction Contract Writer different?
Printed construction contract forms and construction contract templates are available
from several trade and professional associations. For example, AIA construction
contracts and AIA construction subcontracts are available from the AIA. Sample construction
contracts by the EJCDC and sample construction contracts by the AGC are also available
as printed forms. These standard contracts are legal construction agreements in
some states and for some purposes. But none are intended to comply with the law
of any particular state. California Construction Contract Writer drafts residential,
commercial and industrial construction contracts and construction subcontracts and
public works subcontracts that comply with California law. Using a standard contractor
agreement that doesn't comply with California law can result in discipline by the
California State License Board.
will I need to make my contract?
Start drafting a California construction contract by gathering the essential information:
- Decide how you want to set the bias – fair and balanced or tilted in your favor.
- Address of the work site, names of the contracting parties and the contract price.
- Name and address of any representative, architect or bank to be mentioned in the
- Scope of the work: What's included in the job? What's excluded? How you want to
handle errors in the plans or specs? What if there are unexpected site conditions?
- Who is responsible for job safety, hazardous materials, temporary utilities, job
cleanup, inspections and testing?
- Payments: When are payments due: Initial payment, progress payments and final payment?
Is this a fixed price contract or is payment based on the cost of labor and materials
(a time and material contract)? Will payment terms include contract allowances,
cost per unit of work or alternate prices for work to be done at the owner's option?
What's the interest rate on unpaid balances? Do you want to specify grounds for
withholding payment? Will waivers of liens be required before a payment is due?
Will there be a bonus for early completion or liquidated damages for delayed completion?
- Changes in the Work: How do you handle “extra work” not included in the contract?
Will extra work be done on a time and material basis? Or will the charge for extra
work be based on the contractor's usual selling price?
- What insurance will the contractor and subcontractor be required to carry: Liability
insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, course of construction insurance? Will
a performance bond or a payment bond be required?
- The construction schedule: When will work start? When should work be completed?
What grounds are legitimate reasons for an extension of time? Will the owner or
contractor be permitted to suspend work or terminate the contract? What constitutes
substantial completion? Will the contractor be permitted to collect the final payment
if discrepancies remain on the punch list?
Warranty: What's the duration of the warranty, if any? What constitutes a construction
defect? What repairs are required when a construction defect is found? Can the contractor
or subcontractor disclaim the implied warranties of habitability and workmanlike
These are important questions that building contracts in CA should cover.
What's the difference
between an agreement and a contract?
A legal contractor contract is an enforceable contractor agreement. Enforceable
contractor contracts are usually created from a contractor contract form or a contractor
contract template. To be enforceable in California, CA contractor contracts and
CA subcontractor contracts must comply with California contract law. A legal building
contract between either the owner and a general contractor or a general contractor
and a subcontractor can be enforced either by legal action in a court of law or
How long will
it take to draft my first contract?
About a half hour for simple construction agreements. A commercial general contractor's
contract for a shopping center might require an hour or more.
Is there a free
Yes - Get a feature-limited trial of California Construction Contract Writer at no charge. Draft a construction contract agreement to
see if CCW is right for you. Printing, exporting and the ability to copy and paste
are disabled in the trial. Use the trial program as long as you want. When you’re
ready, get the production version of California Construction Contract Writer here or click the “Order Now” button on the Help menu. Successful
download and installation are guaranteed. Then write and print as many contracts
as you want or create PDF or RTF versions for delivery as email attachments. You
can even send a Verizon California construction contract. If you switch computers
or need another download, don’t worry. During the first year you can get another
download as often as needed. After the first year, updates are only $25 per year or $40 for two years.
What if I have
California Construction Contract Writer includes extensive legal and practical information
to help you every step along the way. On the right side of every screen in the interview
you'll see information about the choices available.
Licensed users of California CCW can get answers to contract drafting questions.
We can’t draft the contract for you. But if you need advice on assembling a construction
contract that meets requirements for your job, our legal staff is on call. If you
get stuck, go to the Help menu and click the “Get Help from an Attorney” option.
You'll have an answer in 24 hours, usually sooner.
What will my
completed contract look like?
and scroll down to view a good selection of example California construction contracts
prepared with CCW. You'll see:
- A sample residential construction contract,
- A sample new home construction contract,
- A sample pool construction contract,
- A sample home remodeling contract,
- A sample commercial construction contract,
- A sample home repair contract,
- A sample home building contract,
- A sample time and material construction contract,
A sample home improvement contract.
In addition to general contractor contracts and independent contractor contracts,
you'll see several sample subcontractor agreements.
Some of these home building contracts are biased in favor of the homeowner. Others
favor the general contractor or subcontractor. All of these example construction
contracts and legal contractor forms comply with California law. You can download
any construction contract form on the site as either a PDF or RTF (MS Word) or CCF
(Construction Contract Writer) document.
Is it safe to
make a contract without a lawyer?
If you’re accustomed to getting legal advice on most business deals, we won’t suggest
anything different. If your style is doing jobs on notes scribbled on a business
card or on a form you found on the Web, we suggest that CCW can substantially reduce
your risk, either with or without review by legal counsel.
Most construction contracting mistakes fall into one of three categories. The first
is business risk. Is it a good deal or a bad deal? Lawyers usually don’t give advice
on that topic. Business risk is your decision. The second category is compliance
with California construction contract law and Federal law. Both an attorney of your
choice and Construction Contract Writer can address that issue. The third category
of mistakes is omissions. Does the contract cover what happens when something goes
wrong? CCW is very comprehensive, offering a universe of options far broader than
needed for nearly any job. But nothing happens in CCW until you answer the appropriate
interview question. If you don’t have the time to consider and understand the options
available, maybe you need an attorney more than you need CCW.
Of course, there is a middle ground. Attorneys are accustomed to reviewing contracts.
Produce a contract with CCW and get an opinion from legal counsel before offering
the document for signature. If your attorney suggests changes, and if CCW can’t
accommodate those recommendations, maybe CCW is not the best choice for your work.
If a CCW contract is approved by your legal counsel, use that contract as a model
for all similar jobs. CCW makes it easy to clone any contract on file.
the disclaimer by clicking the PDF icon.
Where can I
get a short, simple, standard California construction contract form that's valid
for all types of work?
There's no such thing as a short, simple construction contract for home improvement
work in California. The notices and disclosures required by California law make
even the shortest residential CA construction contractor form at least 8 pages long.
Drafting a legal California construction contract is as complex as preparing a California
tax return. If you use one of the popular income tax return preparation programs
(like TaxCut® or Turbo Tax®), California Construction Contract Writer will become
one of your favorites.
Is an Internet
An internet connection is required for program updates and during installation.
can use California CCW?
Construction Contract Writer is guaranteed to run on Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 is required and will be installed during installation,