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How to Build Stronger Legal Contracts

Your legal contract governs the scope of work and each party’s obligations for a construction project. Weak contracts can fail to protect your company in the event that you need to enforce the terms of the contract or demonstrate the scope of the project. In this article, a contractor attorney in Wilmington, NC, provides some actionable advice on how to build stronger legal contracts in the construction industry.

Have a Construction Lawyer Review It

The easiest way to ensure that your legal contract is as strong as possible is to have a construction lawyer review it before signing. This can help to identify weaknesses in the contract and potential opportunities to strengthen it. If you need to sign a contract generated for you by another party, a quick review is a great way to make sure that it’s a fair contract that aligns with your interests.

Related: Why You Need the Construction Contract Review Process

Include Realistic Expectations

Whenever creating or signing a contract, it’s critical that you include realistic expectations for cost and time rather than a best-case scenario. All too often, companies and clients get excited when first working with each other, leading to the creation of an unrealistic timeline of when things will be done and how much materials will cost. As expected, this can lead you to miss important contract deadlines and face breaches of contract down the line.

Detail Scope of Work

Strong contracts feature detailed lists of the scope of work, indicating what is expected to be completed under the terms of the agreement. This way, everyone has the same expectations as to what is covered and what not to expect. This can prevent project creep, where clients request or demand more work than the scope of the project originally detailed. Having a detailed scope of work directly in the contract can prevent this from happening.

Related: The Causes of Scope Creep and What to Do About Them

Add Clauses for Delays

Try to imagine what possible delays would impact the project and what the remediation steps would be and, if possible, add this to the contract. For example, if a delay for weather or the shipping of materials occurs, there should be contingencies for what happens next so the client knows what to expect. Sometimes delays happen that are not within your control and having a clear plan of action can reduce dissatisfaction and misunderstanding.

A contract is a legally binding document that should help to protect all parties that are involved. If you have questions about building strong contracts or need a contract reviewed, contact a construction lawyer in Wilmington, NC, from Cotney Construction Law.

If you would like to speak with a construction 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.