The construction industry relies on legal contracts to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding their roles and responsibilities. A properly written contract can help avoid misunderstandings and help promote a successful project. Once an agreement has been made, it is necessary to have a legal contract written up to make it binding. When having this done, it is best to have an attorney either write it or review it to ensure everything is included. Both the owner of the project and the contractor will need to be assigned specific duties.
Perform Services Appropriately
One of the most important duties of a contractor is to perform their services in an appropriate manner. This starts with completing the work according to the specifications laid out in the contract. Additionally, they need to inform the owner of any potential issues that they discover along the way. For example, if the contractor finds that a building design provided by the owner will violate safety standards, the contractor must inform the owner.
Cooperate with Contractors
The owners also have an obligation to cooperate with the contractors so that the contractors can complete their jobs in a reasonable way. For example, once an owner has told the contractors what they want done, they should largely stay out of the way and let the job get completed. Owners should not try to micromanage how each step in the process is completed, but instead only step in if there is a major concern that will impact the quality or safety of the work.
Craft an Effective Contract
In order to meet those requirements, both parties must also negotiate a fair contract in good faith. Understanding some of the key clauses that should be included is a great place to start. The following are clauses that should be in every construction contract:
- Changing Conditions – In the event of unforeseen events or conditions, the risk of loss or delay will shift from the contractor to the owner.
- Termination for Convenience – When a project becomes overly expensive or hazardous, the owner can stop the contract without liability. This clause will specify what, if any, compensation would be due to the contractor.
- Site Investigations – Contractors need to investigate the site to confirm that the conditions are appropriate for the completion of the job.
Speak with an Attorney
Whenever starting the process of entering into a new construction project, it is important to have an attorney there to represent your interests. Contact FCLG to discuss your situation and have your contract drafted or reviewed right away.