We are often approached by homeowners disputing with contractors about construction projects. More times than not the disputes are surrounding delays, deficiencies, or payment. Each time we wish that the homeowners had engaged us earlier – prior to the signing of the construction contract or worse, prior to the commencement of the work without the signing of a contract. If you are a homeowner and you are looking to hire a contractor to do construction work at your property, we highly encourage you to continue reading this article.
It can be argued that construction work is subjective. While you may have drawings, renderings, and specifications, these sometimes do not tell the full story and are the source of the dispute. Your vision of the documents may be different from a contractor’s vision of the documents, and as such, the final productive may be different than what you expected. It is extremely important that you enter into a written contract to dispel as much ambiguity as possible in the construction work and the overall relationship between the parties. This way if the work turns out different or less than what you expected you can rely on the contract to assert your position against the contractor. Inclusive of this reason, and many other reasons, we urge you not to commence a construction project without a contract.
Ensure that you conduct due diligence on the contractor. From a quick Google search to reference check with another customer, we encourage you to take as many steps as possible such that you understand the experience and credibility of the contractor. Construction projects are risky, and you must make yourself aware of the capabilities of the contractor prior to engaging in the project with him or her. Hiring a new contractor to redo the work of another contractor will be much more costly than hiring the right party from the get-go.
Engage a Lawyer
Not just for the preparation of the construction contract, but for the entire duration of the project, you should think of engaging a lawyer. Surprisingly or not surprisingly, a lawyer can protect you in many respects as the project progresses. Without little surprise, a lawyer can help you draft the construction contract. A lawyer can then help you administer the contract such as payments travelling through his or her trust account. A lawyer can assess disputes and issues which arise during the course of a project – such as the release of a payment or holdback. Overall, having a lawyer on your side for the duration of a construction project can provide you a much needed second opinion and expert advice.
Have Contingency Plans
Construction projects can be breeding grounds for stress, delays, issues, and disputes. Prepare yourself for such issues by setting aside more money than you think you will need for the project. If you have an expected move in date, be prepared for this date to fluctuate and have alternate arrangements for your living. Arrange for consultants and second opinions which you can fall back on in the event of issues.
If you have any questions or concerns about a construction project that you are undertaking feel free to contact the lawyers at Falcon Law PC for expert legal advice and strategic planning. We would be happy to provide you a hassle free and cost-free initial consultation.
April 21, 2022