The ball is officially rolling again on our long stalled bathroom remodeling. We requested window replacement quotes from four contractors a while ago, and got a rather unenthusiastic response. Besides the way too expensive quote, two companies told us that they didn't want the job (too complicated with siding and window expansions), but the fourth contractor quoted us a reasonable price and was fine with having us order the windows from our lower cost dealer.
Today the contractor and I met to sign paperwork. Due to getting burned in the past I typed up three pages of job specifications (based on the quote sheet we'd given out before), along with six pages of contract terms. The six page contract term document was rather detailed, but the major points were that I wanted the right to terminate the contract for cause (e.g. if the contractor screws up) and convenience (for any reason whatsoever), and have clear instructions on how assets were to be handled in the event of a cancellation. Canceling for convenience is a plus on any contract because it removes the requirement to show violations of the contract for cancellation to occur.
The contractor read over the job specifications sheet and after a few changes we both signed that. He balked upon seeing the second document, and didn't want to sign it (quite understandably, but you can't blame me for trying). So, instead of forcing the issue we added some minor contract termination wording to his original contract, clarified the end date, and left it at that. We also got him to agree in writing that the windows we were ordering were the proper ones for our installation, and that if they were incorrect he'd either modify the installation or buy correct windows. In the future I'll try to whittle down the termination section so it's only a paragraph or two and can be included unobtrusively on a specification sheet; six pages is far too many.
After signing the contract we ordered our windows from 1st Windows. 1st Windows has a large variety of window manufacturers available, and they quote prices and list options in real time so you can see exactly how much each possible window will cost. They're an excellent research tool if you want to determine materials costs; one thing we learned was that the fiberglass frames all the window installers said were hideously expensive added only 10% to the cost of the windows.
So, in a few weeks or months, depending on manufacturing lead time, we should have new windows. Yay! Of course we can't rest on our laurels quite yet, as we now need to look into finding people to do drywalling and tiling (quite possibly ourselves), and get plans for both of those set.