Not Quite Legal in All 50 States

Go browsing on the Web for construction contracts and you’ll see braggadocio about some boilerplate contract being “legal in all 50 states.”
 
Claims like this show up on Web sites run by savvy people with good credentials but who should know better. Every state has the right to set unique requirements for construction contracts. And nearly all have. It’s simply foolish to claim any construction contract is “legal in all 50 states.”
 
You can take this to the bank: There’s no home improvement contract that’s legal in all 50 states. I’ll go one step further: There’s no contract for residential construction that’s legal in all 50 states. You won’t even find a contract for commercial construction that’s legal in most states. That’s not the way it works.
 
Construction contract law varies from state to state the same way income tax law varies from state to state. Imagine the reaction if you tried to file a New York or Texas income tax return with the Montana Department of Revenue. You’d probably be breaking the law in two states.
 
It’s the same with construction contracts. Nearly all states require specific disclosures, set unique limits or void certain types of clauses in construction contracts. No two states are alike. And most states impose heavy penalties for doing construction work under a contract that doesn’t meet state code. Fines up to $1,000 are common, as is the threat of jail time.
 
Even if you aren’t concerned about fines and jail time, consider the impact if you get into a dispute before collecting final payment. The attorney for your client won’t be impressed with your “legal in all 50 states” contract. More likely, you’ll discover that the contract is either partially or totally unenforceable under state law. Game over! You lose. Run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit. You’re not going to collect another dime on that contract. If opposing counsel is charitable, you’ll escape discipline from the state board. Persist and you’ll get an invitation to do the perp walk at a state hearing.
 
When you see the claim, “legal in all 50 states,” I recommend thinking “probably not legal in any state.” The latter is far more likely than the former.
 
So how do you judge if some boilerplate contract is legal? If you’re paying the $10 to $150 that most vendors change for a download, you’ve got the right to know: Is it really legal in my state?
 
I can recommend a Web site. It’s free. Construction-Contract.net has a good selection of state-specific home improvement, residential and commercial construction contracts. Even better, the site lists laws in each state that set minimums for construction contracts. Before buying any boilerplate contract or contract package, compare what the law requires in your state with what the vendor is offering. If the vendor’s contract comes up short, save your money.

Trades In Construction – Others

Although not directly assigned for the construction industry, there are some professions that are in direct support of the construction industry. They Include;

Banking: As earlier mentioned, construction is a capital intensive affair. This means that a lot of money will be required for a short period of time. This money is almost always got in the form of mortgages, construction loans or general loans. Even when personal savings are involved, there is a great possibility that a bank will be involved as a media for savings. For this reason, banking is closely related with the construction industry and when the construction industry does well, the banks follow suit. This pivotal role means that professions in the banking industry will be put to task.

Legal services: This is especially required when land transactions like leases are to take place. It is also common in the modern forms of construction where prospective buyers purchase property on paper. This means that they pay for the product of construction long before it is put up. This requires a stringent legal undertaking and a binding engagement. Along the same line, properties with encumbrances and caveats will need the services of a legal practitioner. Legal offices are usually very busy when the construction industry is busy.

Sales and Marketing: The product of construction is usually for sale or rent. This requires a marketing campaign to ensure quick take up, thus immediate rent collection or return on investment. Where the building or space is to be sold on paper, it will definitely take a good campaign to convince prospective buyers.

Information Technology: With the proliferation of the internet and the use of the world wide web, there is a great need in the commercial sector to provide tech-savvy solutions. These range from simple structured cabling and intra-networking to complex ones like WiFi services. Being a fast evolving occupation, there are many new concepts coming up and in times to come, the IT specialist will definitely be a part of the construction process.

Surveying: Since construction is done on land, the land surveyor is required to demarcate land, establish beacons, and establish levels, both horizontal and vertical among other tasks.

Property Management: This comes in when the building is complete. It is charged with tasks like tenant search, property cleaning, repair, services provision and maintenance and rent collection.

Others include clearing and forwarding, manufacturing and procurement as pertains to construction materials and fittings. This is a good catch especially for big projects.

Get Started on Your Construction Venture With a Construction Lawyer

Are you going to start a construction business? Smart. As we are all well aware now, the construction industry will never get out of style. People are developing buildings and sites everywhere-and almost after one construction is finished, another starts right away. Other projects are even simultaneously developed by multi-national constructions companies. Well, it’s not a bad thing if you decide to ride the trend and get some of that profit for yourself. First, you need to arm yourself with the needed preparations to make sure your construction venture stays afloat. The most important consideration in keeping your business intact? Get a construction lawyer.

Legal work is always present in any construction project. That is one reason to get a construction lawyer. However, the preparatory stages of your business venture need a great deal of help from a construction lawyer-starting papers, legal permits, construction permits, business permits, and the like. If you go out there without a lawyer within an arm’s reach, you will really have a bad time. Yes, you can process those things on your own (or your people perhaps), but leaving the strenuous job to a construction lawyer will smoothen things out for you, will makes things run twice as fast.

A new venture is always exciting, especially if it’s as complicated as construction. There are other businesses that are more risky than construction. But this one is equally difficult, with the processes, projects, and everything. I’m sure it’s not rocket science. However, do yourself a favor and leave that job to someone who actually know the ins and outs around the legal system, someone who is actually trained and experienced in the process of construction and legal whatnot. Someone who is a competent construction lawyer. It will give you so much more free space to work on more important things like marketing and getting clients for your new construction business.

You see, a construction lawyer can help you in more ways than one. If you don’t realize that until now, then let’s discuss the benefits further. Engaging in a business will get you in a lot of jams-a dissatisfied customer, a thieving subordinate, a cheating partner, a dispute against a rival construction company, misunderstanding from a supplier. The problem can be anything and everything. How are you going to solve such mess? Yes, that is what I’m talking about. The best person who can pull you out of such situations is a clever and competent construction lawyer.

So, to sum it all up, get your own construction lawyer before all the other plans for your construction business venture. I know that you are very excited right now, and I’m super excited for you too. But patience, my friend. First things first. Let’s prioritize the things that will give us more advantage. Getting a construction lawyer early on will definitely lead you to a smoother starting process. Congratulations! Now you have a partner that will guide you not only with construction dealings, but with the legal matters of your business as well.