Every year, thousands of complaints are submitted against construction contractors, but few contractors realize that many of these complaints could have been avoided. If you want to run an efficient and (almost) problem-free business, read these tips provided by our Knoxville contractor lawyers. In the first part of our two-part series, we will discuss two ways in which you can avoid disputes with your customers: credentials and contracts.
Your credentials or lack thereof can have a huge impact on your ability to run a profitable business. Although your customers can verify your license, they can just as easily file a complaint against you which could jeopardize your license. A poorly written contract can cause all kinds of issues with your projects including construction delays, excessive change orders, and more liability than you bargained for.
Keep Your Credentials Current
To avoid legal issues, maintain an active contractors license and work in the correct license category. In Tennessee, if you are acting as prime contractor, subcontractor, or a construction manager, you are required to get the proper licensing before bidding on projects that are $25,000 or more. If you are a masonry subcontractor, you must obtain a license for projects valued at $100,000 or more. There are separate licensing requirements for projects that are less than $25,000 as well. To obtain and manage your license or to review applicable rules and laws, visit Tennessee’s Board for Licensing Contractors.
Prepare a Detailed, Written Contract
Many construction disputes can be traced back to contractual disagreements, but some of these issues can be avoided with a strong contract with all of the right elements. No matter what you are building, your contract and other related legal documents are a crucial component of the construction project.
At Cotney Construction Law, contract drafting and reviewing is one of the many services we offer to construction professionals. You should have a Knoxville contractor lawyer from our firm review your contracts because contract forms and content change over time. In addition, contract reviews can help reduce your exposure to risk. Attorneys can review your contract to look at the big picture and to determine what can truly hurt you in the long run. Besides that, courts will honor accurate, written agreements over a verbal handshake deal.
In part two, we will focus on upfront planning and bidding.
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.