Bath remodel contract

We're about to sign a contract with a home improvement 'guy' to gut and renovate our only bathroom. We interviewed several and this one seemed a good fit, good price (not lowest, not highest) and the references (for what those are worth; I prefer word-of-mouth myself) were solid.
That said, this is our first foray into hiring a contractor. What are typical contract terms for things like warranting against defects in workmanship (e.g., leak below tub area 6 weeks after installation) and taking longer than estimated to finish? Is a price penalty for passing a deadline normal? This is our only bathroom and if he leaves us high and dry for 2 days to to work on a friend's emergency that's going to hurt. And what if the workmanship is marginally sloppy, i.e., something is hung slightly out of plumb, or a joint doesn't meet acceptably?
What are typical payment terms/stages? Up-front and punch list percentages? We are buying all the fixtures and tile, he's doing the labor. We've asked for a certificate of insurance and there's no problem there.
I've googled and found general references to what a good contract should include and many warnings about proceeding without one, but not much for specificity in typical terms.
TIA
Hera
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<hera> wrote >We are buying all the fixtures and tile, he's doing the labor.

Find a real contractor. You're worried about workmanship (leaks), quality etc. There is no way a professional will guarantee anything if you buy garbage. I know of zero professionals which will install what you buy, except the box store contractors and there are plenty of stories questioning if they should be considered professionals. The so called contractor you're happy with getting sounds like a weekend warrior.
A real professional/contractor will be able to obtain better quality for the same or slightly higher price for the products you have access to.
Sounds as if you're itching for headaches.
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Josh,
If it were up to me, that's what I'd do, however my DH is involved, who is forever penny wise and pound foolish, and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it other than make the best of the situation.
FWIW, we've made the purchases: Retrospect console sink and base by American Standard, Kohler Memoirs 8" faucet and matching accessories, Kohler Wellworth toilet, Kohler Villager tub, still shopping for the tub/shower faucets, and a Panasonic exhaust fan. Cultured granite surround from a local manufacturer, ceramic floor from local tile house. I'm aiming for a Robern electic medicine cabinet with light kit but DH is having a stroke at the price.
While none of those items could ever be considered top of the line, neither are they bargain basement crap. They fit the house value, scope of the project and our budget and that's the end of that.
That said, I'd still like information about typical contract terms.
Hera
<hera> wrote

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Be sure in the contract you have a toilet every day, even if the sub floor is rotted and needs replacing, a bucket is no fun. Be sure he is to work continously till finished. Pull a permit and get the Free inspections, yes even with job in progress, they will come out. Dont pay completion till it is inspected. Check refrences, alot. Check court records to see if people have sued him. The last guy that I hired had 15 suits he lost and is a hack, I won in court but wont collect, he is a con. Be carefull be sure he is good, a bath can be a nightmare if screwed up
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Payment can be 50 % down balance upon completion. But since you are buying most apliances it could be Zero or 25%. I have people that know me and bill after completion. But I know them, they know me. He may want partial 25% payments, It is up to you and him and what he feels comfortable with. Get everything in writing, even extras done, and at what hourly charge. Or record phone conversations so he cannot change his story on extra work. Use a camera to document details of work incase the job goes bad. Be sure you are happy and get the inspector or an indepandant to review work in progress if you have doughts. You do not want to find faults to late. 1 yr warranty is good in writing.
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Sure, if you want all standard fixtures and material, the contractor could provide them. However, I prefer to shop around and select my own materials, of usually higher grade than the standard stuff. The contractors didn't mind this at all, but they all said that they would have to wait until all our materials had been delivered to our place before we could reserve them for a specific date. They didn't want to have to start and stop work due to missing materials. I could live with this constraint.
Since we provided the materials, the contractor asked for only a 10% deposit at contract signature, no deposit for materials like they would normally do. We specified a not-later-than contract start date, after which we could cancel the contract if it hadn't started. We paid another 50% at the end of the first week, and the rest after we were satisfied that the job was completed to our satisfaction. The whole job took 10 days, exactly as they had promised. The wording of the contract specified something about the work being done according to the "rules of the art" or something like that. It's not very specific, you might want to be more precise.
All plumbing and drains should be checked for leaks before the walls are closed. Make sure you take pictures while the walls are open, to keep a record of where all the framing, plumbing and wiring goes. I wish I had done that, it would have saved me a lot of hunting for studs later.
Good luck
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Hera,
Your best insurance is a good worker. Since you already have references on this guy you are probably OK. But, ask about his insurance and then call his insurer and confirm that he is insured and that your work will be covered. If he does not have insurance then be absolutely sure that he has done many baths before you let him touch yours. Your local library may have sample contracts, ask the librarian. Your county courthouse will have a library and a librarian who can also help. I think many stores that sell stationary (Office Depot?) sell pads of standard contracts. Getting legal advice from strangers on the internet may not be the best approach to your questions. Call around and see if a local attorney will talk about building contracts for a flat fee ($100-150).
Dave M.
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Thanks, everyone.
The contractor is preparing and bringing a contract, I just want to know what things are 'standard' or acceptable beforehand, in the event there should be any need for negotiation. This is our one and only bathroom and he has verbally guaranteed we wouldn't be without certain amenties overnight. That has to be in writing, although truly -- what good will that do? We'll either have a working john at the end of the day or we won't. If we don't, sure there'll be some penalty in there but I'd rather have a toilet overnight than a few extra pennies.
Hera
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