Why You Need a Construction Contract, and an Attorney

If you are a contractor, either residential or commercial, it may not have taken you long to decide that a contract with your customers, subcontractors, and suppliers is in your best interest. And even if you don’t want a contract, many customers give preference to contractors who will work within the structure of a contract so that they have peace of mind.

You may also know that a poorly constructed contract can cause just as many legal problems as no contract at all. While there are many do-it-yourself forms available for contractors to construct a contract, the best way to ensure a specifically tailored, quality contract is to work with an attorney who specializes in construction law. Though the cost of an attorney’s services may seem prohibitive, the upfront cost of an attorney’s assistance can save you from larger financial headaches down the road.

Often times an attorney can help you with a contract that you can use as a general template for future jobs-reducing the overall cost.

A construction law attorney can help you in various ways with a construction contract:

  • Formulation: A construction law attorney can help you construct a solid contract that protects your business interest and gives your customer peace of mind. As mentioned above, an attorney can often help you draft a contract that you can eventually tailor to fit other contracting jobs
  • Review: If you’ve already drafted a contract, an attorney can help you review your contract to see if there are any legal loopholes that you’ve overlooked or if you’re missing any important contractual components that could cause problems for you later on.
  • Negotiation: An attorney can help you negotiate contracts with your customers, subcontractors, and materials suppliers. Your attorney will help you secure the fundamentals of your contract while knowing how much to give in the negotiation process on less important facets of the construction process.

Once you have entered into a contract, a construction law attorney can continue to provide you support. Your attorney will be able to help you in the administration, enforcement, documentation, and possible defense of your contract:

  • Administration: In order for you to stay within the confines of your contract, you will need to be able to properly administrate from the contract. An attorney can make sure that you understand all the “fine print” of the legal contract that you entered into so that you can properly execute the agreement.
  • Enforcement: An attorney can assist you in properly enforcing your contract, particularly if you are a contractor who has entered into agreements with subcontractors and large materials purveyors. An attorney can consult you on how to enforce your contractual agreements with these parties so that you can maintain your contractual agreements with your customer.
  • Documentation: To ensure that you are following contractual guidelines and to protect you in the case of legal action, your attorney can help you make sure that you properly document all of your progress, administration, and enforcement attempts.
  • Contract Defense: When a customer legally retaliates against you, your attorney will be able to help you defend your contractual obligations or lack thereof.

Contracts help set forth clear guidelines in a wide variety of circumstances, but they can be especially helpful in the contracting business- both for the contractor and the customer. An attorney who specializes in construction law can help ensure that this contract works to protect both of these parties.