A successful construction project starts with having the right contract. A well-drafted contract clearly identifies duties, allocates risk, and limits unnecessary disputes. Since a construction contract addresses so much, it is best to seek the advice of someone who makes it their business to study construction contracts. Instead of using WikiHow.com, consider meeting with a construction lawyer to discuss your contract. For your resource, our Miami construction lawyers want to share 5 tips on drafting your construction contract.
Be Flexible in Negotiations
If revisions are made to the contract during negotiation, keep track of the drafts and changes. Be flexible and willing to negotiate with most terms. However, do not start the construction project before an agreement of all terms has been signed.
Know Your Options
Evaluate the project and create a contract that works best for the project. Will there be a stipulated sum/fixed price, a cost plus fee, a cost plus fee guaranteed max, or a time & material contract? Look at your options and addressed them when drafting the contract. Include language in your agreement which establishes the order of precedence and how future options shall be decided.
Obtain a Copy of ALL Contracts
If other contracts are incorporated into your contract, you will need to obtain a copy of the incorporated contract. Review and agree on those terms as well and verify they do not conflict with your contract or subcontract.
Identify “Who’s on First”
Clearly allocate risk and identify the duties of the parties. A few issues to consider are: Who will obtain the building permits, Who will pay for them? Who will pay for the removal of asbestos, mold, hazardous substances and lead paint? Who will obtain insurance for the project? In order to avoid ambiguities and disputes during the project, expressly identify and establish the scope of the work to be performed.
Research Local Statutes And Requirements
Some states have highly regulated construction contracts. Make sure your contract complies with statutory requirements in your state. Statutory requirements address description of the work, identification of the plans and specifications, exclusions, the contract price, schedule of payments, etc. Consult with a construction lawyer if you have any questions about the statutes in your area.
If you have questions and/or concerns regarding your construction contract, contact an attorney even as early as negotiations. With the help of an attorney, you can prepare a well-drafted contract to prevent disputes.
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.