Construction Law – the Fundamentals
It may not surprise you to learn that it takes as much know-how to get a project started as it does to construct the building. In the world of construction law, you need to strike a careful balance between efficiency and speed.
It may not surprise you to learn that it takes as much know-how to get a project started as it does to construct the building.
In the world of construction law, you need to strike a careful balance between efficiency and speed.
Everything from initial contracts through final inspections comes under the purview of construction law.
Working with an attorney experienced in construction helps, but knowing the basics smooths things along.
Though permits are in part a formality, understanding and following local zoning codes can be quite a headache.
This includes terms related to sizes, clearances for buildings under and above ground, distances from certain types of buildings, utilities and so on.
Filing for the wrong permit or failing to file for a permit both cause companies to face fines and delays.
Construction work involves a laundry list of documents that need to be prepared and completed.
These documents include contracts between the contractor and the landowners, subcontractors needed for specialized work, intermediate companies and sometimes unions.
These documents lay out terms and conditions to ensure that each party knows what they are supposed to do. This also includes timetables and payment agreements.
Subcontractors and Direct Hires
Contracts need to specify not only who is tasked with each aspect of construction but how and when they are able to bring in others to work on the project.
Direct hires require careful vetting to avoid issues, while subcontracting comes with a different set of risks.
Timetables are an ever-moving target in construction and contracts need to include numerous contingencies. This includes not only who is responsible for a delay but what monetary compensation or costs are included.
Indemnity and Liability
Finally, contracts also include information about indemnity and liability. It is important to know who is responsible for taking care of property damage during construction. Or, after a project is complete, who is at fault for defects and injuries.
A project, once completed, needs to be in good condition. When this is not the case, someone needs to deal with damages and make repairs.
Tracking the source of defects is difficult, getting defects fixed and fighting to change policy regarding codes can involve a myriad of laws.
Claims against architects, suppliers, engineers and contractors all require sorting out. It is also possible for a defect to be the fault of all parties or nobody.
Injuries and Accidents
The usual premises liability rules do not always apply to a job site. Contracts often include placing responsibility on a party to ensure that harm is limited on a project.
Posting fences, signs, guards and other deterrents are one side of the equation. The other includes knowing how to avoid construction materials including dust and noise remain on the job site.
Contracts are crucial to establishing what party is ultimately responsible for injuries to workers, bystanders, subcontractors and others.
As time goes on, it often seems that more work is necessary before a project breaks ground than it requires to complete the actual construction.
The world of construction law does not need to defeat you before you get started. Look for expert care by contacting us today.