In this article, our Cook County construction lawyers explain some of the most important clauses in general contractor agreements. We discuss the importance of specificity in the scope of work and contract price clauses, as well as the importance of deadlines for completion of work and liquidated damages. The “scope of work” clause lays out the work that the contractor is responsible for delivering in exchange for payment. The most important consideration in a scope of work clause is minimizing ambiguity in order to avoid future litigation. There are several common methods used to establish a contract price: lump sum, unit pricing, cost of work plus contractor's fee, and time and materials. It is crucial that the contractor and owner have a clear agreement on the deadlines associated with the project and the consequences for the contractor failing to meet these deadlines. A contractor’s failure to complete the project on time is one of the major sources of a potential dispute between the owner and the contractor. Allowances are amounts set aside as part of the contract price for work that requires further plans or specifications from the owner. If the actual cost of the item is less than the agreed-upon allowance, the owner will usually a credit for the difference. General contract agreements usually require the contractor to prepare a “schedule of values” that breaks down the total price of the contract and assigns values to various parts of the work in order to determine how periodic payments will be made to the contractor. The owner and contractor will usually agree that periodic progress payments be made to the contractor based on completion of the work shown on the schedule of values. In the course of the construction project, owners will often want to make changes to the project specifications. A change order is a written agreement between the contractor and the owner to adjust the contract price or the completion deadlines based on these changes.