Construction contracts require meticulous planning and negotiation. Each party has a goal to get the job done, but what this looks like and what it will take to get there may look different to each party.
In negotiating a contract on your next Florida construction site, there are certain details that are often overlooked and taken for granted. Every detail of a contract matters, otherwise you end up in mediation to deal with disputes that arise later. Read on for a few key elements of a construction contract that you should never overlook.
How disputes will be handled
Contract disputes happen. We know because we handle them on a regular basis. So, how do you want those disputes to be handled?
Both sides should be aware of the proper channels to handle a dispute. A failure to address this in your contract means you will be forced to be reactive instead of proactive.
There could be ways to ensure the work continues while disputes are handled by project management. Forced arbitration is a popular option, though this may need to come with concessions depending on which side prefers to go that route. Keeping your project out of the courts could benefit both sides and prevent long and damaging delays.
Specific project schedules
Any contract can indicate when a project will start and when it should be completed, but it’s important to take the time to nail down projected dates for stages in the construction process. This is especially important for larger construction projects that may take months or even years to complete.
Draw requests are often based on these dates, and if you over or under-estimate the timing of each stage of a project then you can end up in dispute. Work diligently and honestly to determine realistic target dates.
Force majeure provisions
Schedules can only go as far as nature allows. Even the most fastidious project managers will fall off track if an act of god disrupts the work. This has become especially relevant in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Natural events like hurricanes, other weather events, and viral diseases put the health and safety of workers at risk. You can’t force workers to move forward in unsafe conditions, but you also have deadlines to hit. A force majeure provision is a sensible middle ground that allows workers to stay safe and prevents liability when unforeseen, uncontrollable events delay the project.
Keep your attorney closeConstruction contracts will benefit from the meticulous attention of a construction law attorney. At Florida Construction Law Group, we have the experience and expertise to help you navigate the contract negotiation, renegotiation, litigation, and mediation process. Get our team involved early and we will work with you every step of the way.