A contract sets the tone for an entire construction project. Poorly written contracts put you at risk for disastrous outcomes that could result in costly legal proceedings.
The attorneys of Cotney Construction Law understand how intimidating drafting a contract can be. This is why our Orlando construction attorneys are always available to review and draft contracts for you. However, if you find you need to draft one yourself, we want to provide you with four tips to help you draft one that’s ironclad and enforceable.
1. One Size Doesn’t Fit All
When you aren’t sure how to draft a contract, it’s common to create a draft by using a template or by piecing together different parts of various templates. If you don’t have the expertise of an Orlando construction attorney, use prewritten templates, but as a guide only. Be sure that the sections you use make sense and compliment every other section. Your contract is as unique as the construction project it is written for.
2. Clear Language
It’s only natural for contracts to contain some legal terminology; however, clear and concise language is key. Language that is unclear and ambiguous will only cause confusion because you end up spending time defining terms and clarifying discrepancies. It could lead you into unnecessary disputes that could have been avoided had your verbiage been consistent and clear.
3. Relevant Provisions
Thoroughly write key contract provisions. This can help reduce or eliminate disagreements. Top construction contract provisions include the scope of work, indemnifications, and warranties and bonds. In additions to those are delay provisions, insurance, and change provisions. Clearly defining these sections will help clarify the duties and liability of each party.
4. Action Plan for Problems and Disputes
A contract that addresses potential problems and a plan to resolve them is vital. Everyone should know what their rights are and obligations are. In the event of an issue, a process should be in place to handle them. Determine if you will seek an arbitrator or if you’ll handle disputes in court.
Other Helpful Tips
Aside from the above tips, the following are other steps you can take to ensure your contract is up professional, solid, and successful.
- Review spelling and grammar
- Eliminate clauses that don’t apply or make sense to your project
- Make your headings bold so that sections are easy to find
- Separate sections with proper spacing
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.