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Elements you can't miss in drafting a construction contract

Construction projects involve the investment of significant sums of money. This is one of the reasons it is so critical that, in drafting a work contract, you do so in a way that keeps your interests at heart.

A well-crafted construction contract should thoroughly describe the project you're looking to have completed. It should also spell out such things as what materials are going to be used to carry out the project and what permits are going to be secured.

When referencing any disputes that may arise in the contract, you should look to emphasize the "forum selection" and "choice of law" provisions. These provisions prevent against you having to litigate your dispute in another state if your contractor uses an out-of-town supplier or subcontractor.

The contract should also include a payment schedule by which you intend to pay the contractor. To ensure that your project actually gets completed on time and to your specifications, your contract should emphasize that you intend to withhold a portion of the final proceeds until proper verification that all subcontractors were paid in full.

Unfortunately, it's not all that uncommon that contractors will sub out different aspects of the job to subcontractors yet not pay them. With you having a list of subcontractors in hand, you should be able to independently verify that each receives one's payment.

This process is often referred to as releasing a partial lien. You may find that some contractors also offer payment bonds as a guarantee that they will pay their subcontractors.

Stating in the contract that you wish that any modifications to the agreement be made in writing can help protect your interests. So too can putting language in the contract that requests that any disputes that arise be dealt with via binding arbitration.

If your're looking to hire a contractor, it's doesn't hurt to have a Melbourne, Florida, construction law attorney review it before signing on the dotted line. At the same time, if you're looking to have an airtight construction contract drafted, you'll definitely want to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney well versed in all aspects of contractor operations.

Source: House Logic, "The Contractor Agreement: 7 Steps to an Iron-Clad Contract," Barbara Eisner Bayer, accessed May 19, 2017

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