Contracts for construction related home improvement projects in the District of Columbia (“DC”) must include a number of mandatory terms and information to comply with the DC home improvement regulations, 16 DCMR § 800 et seq.  A copy of the DC home improvement regulations can be found here:  Download Here

Home improvement work is defined as “the addition to or alteration, conversion, improvement, modernization, remodeling, repair, or replacement of a residential property, or a structure adjacent to the residential property, including a driveway, fence, garage, porch, deck, or swimming pool.”

A home improvement contractor is defined as “any person who enters, or offers to enter, into a home improvement contract with a homeowner.”

A home improvement contract is “an agreement for the performance of home improvement work in the District for a contract price of three hundred dollars ($ 300) or more. This term shall also include the second or any subsequent agreements entered into between the same contractor and the same homeowner within any twelve (12) month period, if the total of the contract prices of all the agreements aggregate three hundred dollars ($ 300) or more.”

Pursuant to 16 DCMR § 808, a home improvement contract:

  • Must be in writing;
  • Must be “signed in at least triplicate, on a form which shall comply in all respects with this chapter, with all blank spaces filled in.”
  • Must be signed by the homeowner and the contractor, contractor’s agent or licensed salesperson;
  • Must include the contractor’s full name, address, phone number, home improvement license number and salesperson license numbers;
  • The homeowner must receive a fully executed copy of the contract from the contractor;
  • Must include written specifications for the project;
  • Each contract “shall include a description of the terms of payment, the approximate date on which the work required by the contract is to start, and the approximate date on which the work will be completed, such starting and completion dates to be subject to change at the time the contract is accepted by the contractor and at no other time (except by written agreement between the homeowner and the contractor), with notice of any such change to be set forth in the written notice of acceptance of the contract furnished the homeowner by the contractor.”
  • Each contract “shall contain a notice satisfactory to the Director in bold type no smaller than ten (10) point stating in substance that the homeowner shall not sign the contract in blank and that the homeowner is entitled to a copy of the contract at the time he or she signs.”

It is important for contractors to understand all of the rules and regulations governing home improvement contracts.  Failure to comply may result in a fine by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Bramnick Law is knowledgeable and experienced in this area of the law.  Call us at (301) 945-7800 or Mbramnick@BramnickLegal.com to schedule a consultation.