In this five-part series, the Orlando construction lawyers at Cotney Construction Law are discussing essential elements that should be featured in your construction contracts. In sections one, two, three, and four, we covered a variety of topics from pricing to delays. In this section, we will focus on identifying the work required for the project. A construction contract not only offers protection, but it also can provide both the contractor and the owner with a specific guideline for the project which defines each party’s responsibilities thereby helping to avoid disputes.
Defining the Work
A well-written contract helps each party address many important aspects of the project. Most importantly, it defines how the work will be successfully accomplished and outlines each contracting party’s control in regard to these important matters. Here are a few examples of particulars that should be featured in the construction contract:
- Work Description: A general description of the work is a sufficient start to a contract; however, the more detailed the work featured in the contract, the easier it is to ensure that everyone’s role on the project is clearly defined.
- Design Documents: The contract should feature as many precise details related to the project as possible. This includes design documents that feature blueprints, drawings, and technical specs.
- Phasing: Along with the work description, it’s important to establish an order of performance. This defines what will be accomplished in each phase, the sequential order of each task, and the total time frame of each of these phases.
- Changes: As we discussed in a previous section, the contractor and owner need to agree on the change order process and how delays (and damages) will be assessed if necessary. This can speed up the process of effectively implementing changes to a project when necessary.
- Performance Provisions: The contract should define the payment process and conditions of sureties and performance bonds for all professionals.
Entering a contract with an owner can be a stressful process as the contractor has to consider everything from the scope of the work to the price points to the deadlines while also considering their legal responsibilities related to the project. Moreover, a contractor enters several written agreements with a wide array of professionals. You should always consult with a legal professional before you enter into a contract as they can ensure your best interests are covered before you put pen to paper.
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.