Five Essential Elements of a Construction Contract
The details of a construction contract are critical to the success of a construction project. For this reason, it is imperative to make sure you have a Tampa construction lawyer review your contract to confirm that it is written in a manner that is not only clear and fair to all parties involved, but more importantly, is designed to protect you and your best interests.
These five essential elements of a construction contract can result in major vulnerabilities if overlooked:
1. Full Name, Address, and Signatures of Both Parties
Though this may sound obvious, this commonly overlooked element of construction contracts is required to make the contract legally binding. Without the proper information or appropriate signatures on all required documents, it will be difficult to get the contract to hold up in court.
2. Scope of Work
Although this is an element that is often included in most construction contracts, many individuals tend to overlook the necessity for details. This area of the contract should, in great detail, explain the services to be provided, including a description of materials, quality, grade, schedule of work, and other specifications pertinent to the construction of the property.
3. Project Cost and Payment Terms
This is an area of a construction contract that should be clearly and simply stated. There should be no confusion as to the cost of services included and cost of services beyond the scope of the project. The schedule of payments, the amount that is due, and the terms and conditions of payment should also be clearly outlined in this section of the contract.
4. Schedule of Work
Establish a clear notice to proceed date, a construction start date, and date of completion, and be sure to differentiate between calendar days and work days. It is also wise to include in the contract that you are not responsible for delays caused by the property owner in obtaining the required permits, easements, and approvals, or for delays as the result of bad weather. Make sure to account for lead times from your suppliers, and if there are change orders, be sure to document any additional time they will require.
With so many moving parts, it can become difficult to establish who has authority to make decisions during a construction project. This is why it is important to make clear who has the authority to make legally binding decisions before project initiation. This simple element of the contract can save a lot of headache and confusion during the project.
To ensure that your contracts are designed to protect you, seek the help of an experienced Tampa construction lawyer to review or draw up your construction contracts.
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.