An experienced contractor understands that every construction project will present risks and challenges. Payment challenges, in particular, is an ongoing concern for contractors who have completed work on a project. It is imperative that contractors secure their payment rights during every stage of the construction process.
Stage 1: Pre-Performance
Securing and preserving payment rights should take place even before you sign a contract and start the work on a project. To do so you should
- Secure your bond or lien rights
- Get familiar with the project site
- Understand tax and insurance requirements
- Understand payment timing, submittal, and reviews
- Understand the contract, the bid, and proposal documents
Florida lien law has specific requirements and deadlines, if you want to ensure your payment rights are preserved, consult with a Jacksonville construction lawyer.
Stage 2: Performance
Once you begin work on the project, you will be incurring costs. It is important that you secure prompt progress payments for the work you perform as the project progresses. Other considerations that requires your attention include:
- Capturing performance milestones
- Keeping track of payment application deadlines
- Keeping accurate documentation throughout the project
- Understand how payment disputes will be solved per the contract
- Understand the Prompt Payment Act if you are performing work for governmental entities
- Notify other contract parties on any issues that could affect payment including changes, delays, or extra work
Stage 3: Post-Performance
After the project ends, you will need to complete additional steps to enforce or maintain your rights including but not limited to the following:
- Pay attention to lien or bond requirements
- Differentiate costs associated with disputed work or delay claims
- Compile records and documentation that support work performed
Anything can go wrong over the course of a project. It is your responsibility as a contractor to protect your own interests and bottom line. If you cover all of your bases, you will experience fewer payment discrepancies.
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.