Sweat Equity Agreement
Our builder wants us to sign a sweat equity agreement before we install the radiant heat and the low-voltage wiring in our home. He made it sound like it was a pretty straight-forward agreement and that they do this all the time and they would be very flexible to work with us. Even to the point of answering all of our questions and making suggestions of where to purchase the materials. But when we recieved the document from them yesterday it turned out to be 17 paragraphs of legalese that seems to be specified to buyers who bring in other subs to work on the house, not buyers who are going to be doing the work themselves in cooperation with the builder.
We are wondering how common it is to rewrite these agreements? There are quite a few parts we have issue with but two of the specific items we want changed are being charged $50 a day for every day we don't complete our work given the timeline they decided on. That timeline is based on subs (who have the experience and the tools to do the job quickly). We know we can do the work, but aren't sure we can complete it in five days. They also want us to get $2 MILLION in liability insurance. We aren't worth that. Not even close.
Also, is there is a paragraph that talks about the warranty that makes us really nervous. It seems to say that even though we install the PEX tubing correctly, if one of their subs inadvertently damages the tube (a nail or screw through it - or something like that), it won't be covered under warranty because we were the ones who laid the tubing.
We can take this to a lawyer which would add another week to our already delayed build. But we are just wondering if the builder is trying to force our hand to discourage us from moving forward with the DIY work.
I'm a little frustrated because in talking with the owner of the company we feel like everything is a bed of roses and we are all on the same team and working toward a common goal and he even makes us feel like we are the boss because it's our house and we are the ones who have to be happy. Then we get this document which throws all our good will out the window. DH was fuming and he doesn't show emotion easily. If you were in our shoes... Would you go right to a lawyer? Would you ask for a face to face meeting? Would you send an email stating the issues paragraph by paragraph and wait to hear their response?