As a construction business owner, your attention may be on project performance, business strategy, and steady growth; however, you never want to overlook what’s right in front of your nose. A poorly worded contract on your current project can lead to a dispute that eats away your cash flow and impacts your backlog of projects. What once was a thriving enterprise can be easily interrupted with one bad project or one poorly developed contract.
In this article, a Colorado Springs construction lawyer will discuss four common mistakes that construction firms and construction professionals make when they fail to have their contracts drafted and reviewed by a construction attorney. Remember, for contract review in Colorado Springs, consult the construction attorneys at Cotney Construction Law.
1) What Contract?
The most inexcusable mistake a contractor can make is failing to have any written agreement in place before beginning work on a project. Whether they think a verbal agreement is enough, don’t want to impact a long-term business partnership, or work with another party that refuses to sign a contract, contractors can create a myriad of issues by failing to have a contract in place. No matter the size of the project or the scope of the work, a contractor needs a signed contract in place before they begin working on any project. If for some reason you need to start a project and the other party has yet to deliver a signed copy of the contract, consult a Colorado Springs construction attorney for legal advice.
2) Drafting Your Own Agreement
Some proactive contractors will elect to do their own online research and draft their own agreement for projects with an owner. The irony is that the money you save today by not hiring a construction lawyer to perform this service may greatly impact your financial situation later when you run into an issue on a project and your “do-it-yourself” contract doesn’t cover your problem. The entire point of having a contract in place is to ensure that it’s legally valid and consistent. When you draft your own contract, some elements may not be valid in the state you are working in or some clauses may contradict one another, rendering the entire contract useless. To avoid disputes down the line, always consult a construction attorney for contract drafting and construction contract review in Colorado Springs.
3) The Boilerplate Contract
No two construction projects are exactly the same, and the same should be said for the construction contracts that are drafted, reviewed, and signed before beginning work on a project. Some contractors cut corners and either print a boilerplate contract off the internet or have an attorney draft a single contract for them and then they reuse that template for all of their projects. Without a legal professional drafting each individual agreement, the contract won’t cover specific situations related to each individual project. Although a boilerplate contract is better than no contract, it will not cover specific situations. Moreover, some legal loopholes can fall through the cracks of a cookie-cutter contract that doesn’t focus on important details related to each project.
4) Not Hiring a Construction Lawyer
Tens of thousands of law students graduate every year. However, you shouldn’t have just anyone with a law degree write your construction contract: You should hire a lawyer that practices construction law. As a construction project presents a variety of unique challenges and liabilities, construction firms require a professional with in-depth knowledge of both legal and construction practices to draft and review their construction contracts. A construction attorney understands specific details related to the scope of work, work deadlines, payment schedules, termination agreements, dispute resolution, change orders, permitting requirements, and more to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and protect your best interests.
Invest Today and Save Tomorrow
As we stressed before, compared to the costs associated with a poorly written contract that fails to offer you the protection you require on projects, it’s best to invest a little money upfront by employing a construction attorney to perform this service. At Cotney Construction Law, our attorneys can review your contracts and provide you with the accurate legal counsel you require for all of your construction law needs. To learn about our unlimited contract review services, visit our website and find a subscription plan package that is perfect for your construction business.
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.