5. Scope of work. There are many details to get right in a renovation, so write everything down before work begins. This can be the best way to get everyone on the same page. If your designer has drawn up detailed plans, make sure the contract references the designer and the date on the plans so you have something to point to should the finish on your woodwork be different from what you requested.6. Duration of work. Though projects often take longer than predicted for many legitimate reasons — some caused by the client and some outside the contractor's control — put the expected project duration in writing. The important thing is not that your contractor shows up every day, but that he finishes the project on time. Having a timeline will help calm your nerves if progress hits a slow spot.