Contracts and the construction industry go hand in hand—they are simply a part of every project. While it’s true many contracts are straightforward, many contracts can leave your head spinning, so skimming a contract will not suffice. Our Jacksonville construction attorneys want construction professionals everywhere to make every effort to sign a document that you can live with.
What a Contract Contains
A contract is a written or oral agreement that is legally binding. They contain information that is critical to the entire project and financial well-being. Your signature signals your agreement to the terms and conditions therein. Contracts consist of payment terms, the scope of work, project timelines, and additional contract documents such as drawings and specifications that define the project. Your obligations and liabilities are wrapped up in the agreement. A contract can either limit or increase your risks, this is why contractors are urged to have it reviewed by a reputable Jacksonville construction attorney.
We’ll provide a list of things you should thoroughly review, preferably with a Jacksonville construction attorney, before your sign your contract and begin your new project.
Create a Checklist
Construction projects have many moving parts so it’s easy to miss some things. Creating a checklist will help you stay on track and ensures you won’t miss minor or critical details. A checklist can be as lean or robust as you like and depends on your unique project. The following is just a brief idea of what this checklist should look like:
- Requirements (i.e., cash flow, insurance, bonding, safety, tools, and equipment)
- Procedures (i.e., payments, change orders, safety, permits, contract close-out)
- Plans, specifications, drawings, and submittals
- Site logistics
- Disputes (i.e., resolution, claims, protests, venues)
- Scope of work
Review Every Document
Review the complete set of plans, specifications, and other vital project documents before signing the contract. With specifications, don’t just focus on your trade because you could miss vital information elsewhere in the document that could affect the completion of entire project. Understanding your documents means you are better equipped to defend yourself if a discrepancy occurs. As Jacksonville construction attorneys, we know that projects move at the speed of lightning and many times contracts are signed just as quickly, but it will pay off in the long wrong if you make document review a priority.
There are more elements that will require review before you sign on the dotted line. To learn more, visit part two of our article.
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.