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Every contract divides the risks and benefits of a transaction between the two parties. The trick to a fair contract is finding a way to divide both risks and benefits evenly. Some building and remodeling contracts come closer to this ideal than others. The lump sum contract, for instance, in which the contractor agrees to do the job for a given price, places all of the risk on the contractor. It is the contractor who takes the hit if costs or schedules get out of whack, even if factors are beyond his or her control. The most common alternative to the lump sum contract is the time-and-materials contract, also called the cost-plus contract, since it includes charges for time and materials,