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Did You Read Your Entire Contract? Here’s Why You Should

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In the construction industry, contracts are singularly responsible for ensuring that all parties meet their obligations for performance and payment. Whether you’re a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier, the work you perform and the materials you supply will be determined by the terms and conditions contained within your contract. Working without a contract is foolish and offers you no protections for nonpayment. Signing a contract that you didn’t read is equally foolish. For all you know, you could be signing away your right to seek legal recourse for nonpayment… or worse.

In this article, a construction lawyer in Wilmington, NC, from Cotney Construction Law will discuss why you should read the entire contract before signing, and if not you, a lawyer with years of experience representing contractors. This is the only surefire way to avoid the types of contractual disputes that lead to costly claims, lost time, and severed ties.

Long, Redundant, and Necessary

How often do shortcuts work out for contractors in the construction industry? Not often. Generally, when contractors attempt to speed up construction by eliminating what they view as “unnecessary” tasks, it leads to defective work. The same principle applies to reviewing contracts. If you fail to commit the appropriate amount of time and attention to your contracts, you’ll end up with a contract full of holes and opportunities for failure. This is where the talents of a construction attorney in Wilmington, NC, come into play. An attorney can handle those long and redundant contracts that have you falling asleep by page two. With a trained eye looking out for risky clauses, you can rest assured that your contract is written to protect your best interests.

Common Clauses That Contractors Overlook

Construction contracts are littered with potential risks. Every contract is a veritable minefield of disputes waiting to happen, and it’s the duty of a contractor attorney in Wilmington, NC, to play the role of minesweeper. Your attorney can scrutinize text related to change orders to ensure that a clear process is in place that won’t hold your business financially responsible when the owner changes their mind about some aspect of a project. Your attorney can also seek out indemnity clauses that force you to hold the owner harmless when their negligence affects the project negatively. These types of clauses were recently rendered unenforceable in North Carolina, but it’s still important to recognize when an owner is attempting to use one against you. This can reveal a lot about an owner and their intentions.

So, are you reading your entire contract? There’s a good chance you aren’t paying close enough attention to the nuanced legal minutiae that can get you into trouble, but should you be expected to? A contractor’s job is to provide quality building services, not file through the technicalities of contract law. Let a contractor lawyer in Wilmington, NC, review your contracts, so you can enjoy the sustained success of the business you worked hard to grow.

If you would like to speak with a contractor lawyer in Wilmington, NC, please contact us today.

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.