The contract is an important guide that sets up expectations on a construction project. Unclear contract language can set up an undesirable situation that places an owner and contractor at odds with each other.
In part one of this two-part article, we discussed the problems that arise from having unclear language in a construction contract. Now, a Greensboro contractor attorney at Cotney Construction Law will describe how to employ clear language in all of your construction contracts.
Clearly Define the Scope of Work
Make sure that the scope of work is clearly defined. Leave nothing to ambiguity. If a pool is being crafted, make sure all parties agree on the dimensions, materials, and methods to be used, as well as the timeframe for completion. If the contract only mentions a concrete supplier, for example, ensure that the type of concrete being sourced from that supplier is specified. Remember, no matter how ambiguous the details of a project are, someone is going to have to pay for any discrepancies that result in a dispute.
Additional Documents Should Be Cohesive
Be sure that any additional documents do not contradict anything that has already been agreed upon in the contract. It’s wise if additional documents, like agreements and conditions, do not touch upon topics already clarified in the contract and agreed upon by all parties. This will help avoid inconsistencies and disagreements down the line.
In this instance, you will have to literally avoid unclear language. In North Carolina, words like “shall” in a contract could leave wiggle room for an owner to argue the actual intent of the contract. In order to protect yourself, make use of definitive words such as “exclusive,” “sole,” and “only.”
The above perfectly encapsulates why clear language is integral to construction contracts. The best owner and contractor relationship is when neither party can take advantage of the other and when expectations are detailed clearly and concisely. Contracts are complicated documents that, despite best intentions, can easily become unclear at any point. Please contact a Greensboro contractor lawyer to ensure that your construction contract is clear and free of any ambiguity.
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.