Construction Contracts Overview
Construction Law Topics
Why are Construction Contracts so Important?
In a perfect world, people would always do as they promised, things would always go as planned, people would always behave with honor and propriety, and we wouldn’t need contracts to protect ourselves and our best interests in our business relationships with others. However, in the real world, and especially in the construction industry, we are aware of just how quickly and badly things can go wrong. Construction contracts are integral pieces of the process. They are the essential document that outlines the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of each party to the agreement. They oftentimes lay out incentives for good behavior (such as bonuses for completing work early,) as well as punishments or penalties for negative behavior. Construction contracts also often dictate how disputes on the construction project will be settled.
Construction projects can lead to numerous legal issues and problems. In many cases, these problems can be completely out of your control. However, anticipating potential issues when drafting your project’s construction contract can help to prevent them from getting out of hand, saving you time, expense and undue trouble in the future. It is utterly imperative that you understand your construction contract and that the contract’s expectations are fair and reasonable to all parties. Talking to a construction attorney while you are drafting your construction contract ensures that you have a legal expert with your best interests in mind reviewing (or in some cases drafting) your legal documents to ensure that they are legally enforceable, reasonable, and protect your best interests. Call Dawson Law Group at 503-919-1315 today to talk to a construction lawyer. Having a clearly written, airtight contract that protects you as much as possible is something we can help you with, and something you may thank us for in the future if a dispute arises on your construction project.
Construction Contracts are Legally Binding
Your project’s construction contract is integral to how your construction project will be carried out. Regardless of if you or the other party drafted it, it is imperative that you read it carefully, understand it fully, and agree to it completely. The legal consequences of all of a contract’s provisions may not be initially obvious to you; this is why it is important for a construction attorney to review your contract with you. Once you sign a contract, it becomes legally binding and you will have to perform all of the duties and provisions you agree to. A lawyer can help you understand your contract entirely and can help you request the changes to the contract that will protect you moving forward and provide you with peace of mind.
Important Contract Considerations
Your project’s contract should clearly and explicitly state what work, services, and materials the general contractor will bring to the table, and it should also lay out what the property owner is expect to pay the contractor for materials and for services and work performed. The typical construction contract will outline the project’s timeline for completion, down payment (if applicable) and schedule of payments, late/unsatisfactory performance penalties, and dispute resolution methods. Our advice with contracts is to avoid “legalese” whenever possible, and to simply clearly and explicitly state all duties and expectations and to outline with clarity how disputes and failed expectations are to be resolved.
Another important consideration when thinking about contracts for construction projects is whether or not the expectations and duties outlined are reasonable or not. If your contract sets out unreasonable expectations for any party, including yourself, you may be setting things up for failure. If you are a property owner, make sure that the time limits for the general contractor are reasonable and that there is breathing room for things out of both of your control (material shortages, on-site accidents, etc.) If you are a general contractor, ask yourself if the fees and expenses laid out in the contract within the property owner’s financial capabilities. You are the best judge of what seems reasonable, but a construction attorney can give you further information by outlining common contract practices, provisions, and expectations.
Talk to a Lawyer Today
A common saying asserts that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In the case of construction contracts, that is definitely the case. No matter where you are in the process of drafting your project’s construction contract, if you have yet to do so, talk to a Portland, OR construction accident attorney today about your contract. Dawson Law Group’s attorneys are available at 503-919-1315 for a free phone consultation. Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys would be glad to get to know you, understand your priorities and concerns, explain to you your legal options, and help you come up with steps to make sure your best interests are being protected in the future.