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Tips for Contractors: When to Walk Away from a Project Part 4

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No ethical contractor signs a contract with the intention of walking away. After all, the construction industry is defined by its persevering professionals that push through the hardship to achieve success, but in some cases, there’s only so much that can be done before it’s time to cut your losses. 

When you find yourself embroiled in a contract-related dispute, a Jacksonville construction lawyer can help you assess the best course of action to deal with the situation. You want to preserve your bottom line and your reputation, so it’s vital that you weigh your options and make an informed decision that doesn’t compromise your future success. Whether it’s an issue related to nonpayment, scope of work, or change orders, you can rest easy knowing that every potential avenue for relief is being explored with Cotney Construction Law on your side.

In parts one, two, and three of this four-part series, a Jacksonville construction attorney discussed the implications of walking away from an unfinished project, potential solutions for nonpayment, and what to do when there’s little evidence supporting an owner’s ability to fund a project. Now, we will bring this series to a close by discussing cardinal changes and surprise finds.

Cardinal Changes Go Beyond Change Orders

A cardinal change is a change that is deemed so extreme that it drastically alters the scope of work. This change can be so significant that it affects the nature of the contract in indelible ways. If you were to accept a contract worth $100,000 for a commercial building demolition, and then the owner decided to issue you a change order valued at $1,000,000 to replace the demolished building with a new one, this request, which alters the nature of the contract, would be considered a cardinal change. A Jacksonville construction litigation attorney can help you clarify the difference in a court of law, so you aren’t burdened with a cardinal change that affects your bottom line. It’s important to note that a cardinal change doesn’t cancel your obligation to perform the work included in the original scope of work.

Unexpected Hazards May Present the Opportunity to Walk Away

When an owner purchases a piece of land and decides to build a structure on it, there’s always a possibility that the land isn’t exactly what it appears to be. Unexpected hazards, underground storage tanks, significant cultural artifacts, and human remains can all have an effect on your ability to complete the project according to the terms and conditions established in the contract. That said, if these surprise finds can be avoided or worked around safely, you have an obligation to perform the work to the best of your ability. Consult a Jacksonville construction attorney to learn more about how surprise finds can affect your projects.

If you would like to speak with a Jacksonville construction litigation attorney, 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.