Construction Contract Attorneys
Construction projects can be costly and dangerous. Just in case there are unexpected damages (i.e. due to weather conditions), adverse circumstances, or disputes, a contract will keep you covered.
Gainesville, FL Attorneys Versed in Construction Contracts
Contracts are documents that are outlined among participating parties, or all of the people involved (i.e. designers, laborers, owners etc.), in a construction project. It outlines:
- the type and structure of the work that will be performed;
- the rights and duties of each of the participating parties;
- the amount and percentage of pay;
- how the parties will be paid;
- when payment will be distributed;
- how the parties will respond;
- how the project (including the duration and associated costs & pay) will be impacted in the event of an unexpected circumstance (i.e. weather storm);
- the type of insurance provided for each party;
- how insurance policies work;
- the time-frame of the project development;
- the expected duration of work and performance of each participating party; and
- a detailed account of how any and all disputes will be resolved.
While it may seem like an exhaustive list, it is important for a construction contract to be inclusive, clear, and specific. It prevents chaos from occurring during disputes and adverse situations. It also protects your interests by denoting what you are responsible for in terms of pay and performance. Without contracts, you may be subject to abuse without being aware. Contracts allow each party to agree to the way that a project will be handled through signatures. Through this process, all parties will be on one accord, allowing for a smoother overall process.
Types of Construction Contracts
There are numerous forms of contracts that may contain advantageous and disadvantageous claims for the parties involved in a construction project. The most popular are listed below:
- Guaranteed Maximum Price Contracts: These types of contracts enable construction contractors to receive payment/benefits for the actual costs and fixed fees (established fees that do not change) of a given project.
- Lump Sum Contracts: These contracts enable contractors to perform the duties of a given project for a fixed price (established prices that do not change).
- Unit Price Contracts: The terms of these contracts are based upon estimated numbers, percentages, and prices of items.
- Cost Plus Contracts: When a project seems risky or contains many indeterminable factors, a cost plus contract may be favorable. In this type of contract, a contractor agrees to cover all expenses (including labor, tools, equipment etc.) for the project.
- Cost-Reimbursable Alternative Contracts: These contracts allow for parties to be paid in a combination of reimbursable and fixed costs. Reimbursable payments are distributed after necessary spending and approval of construction projects have been made. Fixed payments are given after the duties of the project are fulfilled. Fixed payments cannot be altered, even if the total amount of expenditures change.
- Integrated Project Delivery/Alliance Contracts: These contracts are collaborative and transparent. Each stakeholder is able to express concerns and needs. The result is a contract that integrates all of the interests of the parties. In essence, everyone wins.
For more information on the types of construction contracts, and which ones may be more appropriate for you, you should rely on an experienced construction attorney to help you understand.
How Can A Florida Construction Attorney Help Me?
- Ensure that the terms of the contract are legal. In order for contracts to be legally binding, they must follow the law. Contracts must align with the statutes, rules, regulations and procedures of local, state, and federal policies. An experienced construction lawyer can ensure that the terms of your contract are indeed legally possible.
- Help you understand language and numbers. Most contracts contain technical (or even fancy) terms and phrases that the average person is unable to comprehend. Contracts may also contain percentages that are difficult to interpret. For example, 10 percent of a project worth a couple of thousand dollars may not be a lucrative (or fair) share. But a 10 percent share of a project that is worth more than a million dollars may be more than enough. Many times, context and proportions have to be considered when determining the fairness of a contract. A lawyer can verify that the percentages that you agree to serve your best interest.
- Negotiate on your behalf. The reality is that on occasion, contracts may not serve your best interest. In the event that numbers do not match accordingly, a lawyer can step in to advocate on your behalf. A construction law lawyer can review the terms, make recommendations, and assist you with redrafting terms that maximize your coverage. A lawyer can also coordinate with the participating parties (i.e. the people involved in the construction project) to arrange deals and reach equitable compromises before and after disputes occur.
If you are considering entering a construction project, you should contact a legal professional to assist you with reviewing and/or redrafting your contract with you. It isn’t sufficient to have a construction contract for the sake of just having one--you need a contract that will serve your best interest.
At Warner Sechrest & Butts, our construction law attorneys are happy to protect your interests, alleviate your concerns, and prevent you from taking a major loss because of a bad contract. Attorney Robert Butts is a construction law expert and a certified general contractor. Not only is he versed thoroughly in Florida construction laws, but he also understands the best interest for all parties in a construction contract for residential, commercial, multi-family and development projects. For an experienced Florida construction law attorney to help you draft or review a contract, contact Warner, Sechrest & Butts.