Before Building a Home, You Need a Construction Contract

For homeowners, building a new home or remodeling an old home is an exciting time.  Likewise, for general contractors and subcontractors, starting work on a new project brings revenue and, hopefully, additional work through referrals and word of mouth.  But every contraction project should be built upon the initial foundation of a construction contract.  A well-written contract is essential to the performance and completion of a quality construction project.

First, a construction contract outlines the exact scope of work to be performed.  Is the project a complete teardown and new build?  Or is it a small bathroom remodel?  And what if, after starting the job, the home owner wants the contractor to complete additional work?  Is that included within the contract price, and if not, what is being charged?  A well-written construction contract outlines the scope of work, addresses changes to the scope of work, and discusses payment for such changes.

Second, a quality construction contract keeps the project on track towards completion.  From the perspective of a property owner, a construction contract should have a specific date of substantial completion for the project listed.  All to often, construction projects stall out, taking many more months than anticipated.  A specific date of completion works to avoid this.  From the perspective of a contractor, the contract should include language that allows for certain delays due to material shortages, weather, and other similar delay factors that are outside the control of the contractor.  

Third and finally, all construction contracts should at least consider what occurs in the event litigation arises.  If communication between a property owner and a contractor breaks down and a lawsuit is filed, what happens?  Many times, a good construction contract can avoid litigation before a judge or jury by including language requiring arbitration, a private process before a single decision maker.  In short, any claim by the property owner will be handled privately, without the prying eyes of the public, a judge, or a jury.  

Weaver, Bennett & Bland offers a range of construction contract drafting options for our clients, including the creation of custom contracts that are unique for each project, based upon AIA, CMAA, and other industry standard documents.  By working with our clients during the initial planning phase of a project and analyzing potential risk, we work hard to prevent construction disputes before they occur.  However, in the event litigation arises, our firm also handles all types of construction litigation and contract disputes, including the filing of liens, construction defect litigation, negligent repairs, construction delays, and change order disputes.

If you are in need of a construction contract, contact our construction contract attorneys at Weaver, Bennett & Bland at (704) 844-1400 today.