One question I hear fairly often from builders is, “Can a contract with a client be enforced if it’s not in writing?” The short answer is yes, it can. Back in the days when I worked at the legal shark shop, we enforced unwritten contracts all the time — though we sometimes ran into problems.

The longer answer is that enforceability depends on a number of factors: what kind of customer you’re working with, how much money is involved, and what state you’re in. For instance, several states require written contracts between homeowners and builders for jobs involving more than a specified amount of money.

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