Residential projects include the construction or repair of a new or existing residence including improvements in “secondary buildings” to the residence. This includes single-family houses, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, or units in a multi-unit structure used for residential purposes. Improvements in secondary buildings would include work on things such as pool houses and separate garages.
The Texas Property Code, Subchapter K specifically, gives homeowners rights to obtain contractor references, request contractor license number (if any), and have a written agreement with the contractor with the description of the work, estimated completion date, cost of the work, and procedure and method of payment. The agreement must also include notices and disclosure statements.
In Texas, when a project is residential, a general contractor must provide a Residential Disclosure Statement. The statement informs the homeowner of their rights and best practices for handling the project. This can be copied from the Texas Property Code Section 53.255 and included in the contract or provided as a separate document.
In addition, under Texas Property Code Section 53.256, a contractor may also need to provide a list of subcontractors and suppliers prior to beginning work. The contractor should identify the name, address, and phone number of each subcontractor and supplier the contractor intends to use on the project. If the subs and supplier list changes, this list must be updated within 15 days of the change. The list must also contain notice language in at least 10-point, bold font that reads:
NOTICE: THIS LIST OF SUBCONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS MAY NOT BE A FINAL LISTING. UNLESS YOU SIGN A WAIVER OF YOUR RIGHT TO RECEIVE UPDATED INFORMATION, THE CONTRACTOR IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO SUPPLY UPDATED INFORMATION, AS THE INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE, FOR EACH SUBCONTRACTOR OR SUPPLIER USED IN THE WORK PERFORMED ON YOUR RESIDENCE.
As you’ve read in the above notice, the homeowner can waive this requirement. The waiver can either be included in the contract or can be provided in writing afterward. It also needs to be in at least 10-point, bold font that reads:
WAIVER OF THE LIST OF SUBCONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS. AN OWNER IS NOT REQUIRED TO WAIVE THE RIGHT GRANTED BY SECTION 53.256, PROPERTY CODE, TO RECEIVE FROM THE CONTRACTOR AN ORIGINAL OR UPDATED LIST OF SUBCONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS.
BY SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT, I AGREE TO WAIVE MY RIGHT TO RECEIVE FROM THE CONTRACTOR AN ORIGINAL OR UPDATED LIST OF SUBCONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS.
I UNDERSTAND AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT, AFTER SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT, THIS WAIVER MAY NOT BE CANCELED AT A LATER DATE.
I HAVE VOLUNTARILY CONSENTED TO THIS WAIVER.
One last thing- There is also another necessary notice called the TX Residential Construction Liability Act notice. This one deals with construction defects, and more specifically, the notice and opportunity to cure. The notice must be in at least 10-point, bold font that reads:
This contract is subject to Chapter 27 of the Texas Property Code. The provisions of that chapter may affect your right to recover damages arising from a construction defect. If you have a complaint concerning a construction defect and that defect has not been corrected as may be required by law or by contract, you must provide the notice required by Chapter 27 of the Texas Property Code to the contractor by certified mail, return receipt requested, not later than the 60th day before the date you file suit to recover damages in a court of law or initiate arbitration. The notice must refer to Chapter 27 of the Texas Property Code and must describe the construction defect. If requested by the contractor, you must provide the contractor an opportunity to inspect and cure the defect as provided by Section 27.004 of the Texas Property Code.
If a contractor fails to provide this notice in the contract, the contractor may be liable for up to $500 of civil penalties, in addition to any other remedies available to the property owner.
Contact our office if we can help review and make sure all necessary disclosures and terms are included in your contract!