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Here’s why you need a construction contract lawyer to review your contract
September 13, 2021 at 4:00 AM
Five yellow construction hats laying on a tile floor.

With any kind of construction job, planning is key. You need to know certain details about the project such as its length, the exact work you need done, and the budget you’d like to stick to. Most importantly, all of this needs to be included in a contract with whichever company you choose to get the job done for you. This may be easier said than done, though, and you need to be sure the contract is written up correctly to avoid paying more than you intended or getting into a dispute with the construction company.

Having an attorney on hand to review your contract is the best way to ensure that it’s drafted in such a way as to make sure your project goes exactly as planned, and the construction contract lawyers at DZ Law have provided this service to countless people already. We’ve already written on our blog about some points to keep in mind when reviewing a construction litigation case with your attorney. In this post, we’ll cover some of what you need to know to prevent a contract dispute from arising in the first place.

Why a contract matters

As mentioned before, a contract is important for laying out the exact terms of the work you need done and how much you’ll be paying for that work. It holds both parties, you and the company you’re contracting, responsible for upholding their end of the agreement, and allows either party to take legal action against the other if they fail to meet the terms of the contract. In this way, it’s an effective tool for making sure everyone involved in the project gets what they’re promised.

Never start a project without a contract. Doing so opens you up to a few different risks, including overpaying for sub-par or incomplete work. The company you’re working with should provide you with this contract before the project begins, and if they do, you should still make sure you have an attorney review it to make sure the terms are understandable and favorable to you. Some companies won’t provide a contract, though, and if that happens, you’ll need to be the one to write it.

How to write up a construction contract

If you’re writing the contract, you’ll need to determine how it’s going to be structured. Some of your options for this include a lump sum/fixed price contract, a cost plus contract, a time and materials contract, and a unit pricing contract. The structure that works best for you will depend in large part on the type of work you’re having done, and this is another point which you should discuss with an attorney before signing.

We’ve already mentioned the importance of including certain details like the contract’s length and budget, but here’s a more detailed list of points you should include:

  • Contact information
  • Title/description for the project
  • Projected timeline and completion date
  • Projected cost and payment schedule
  • Stop work clause
  • Stop payment clause
  • “Act of God” clause
  • Change order agreement
  • Warranty
  • Dated signature from you and the contractor
  • Attorneys’ fees
  • Contract default provision

For more information about each one of these points, take a look at this article from Freshbooks on construction contracts.

Which parts are most important for a construction contract lawyer to review?

It’s worth your time to have a construction contract lawyer available to review the included points and language of every part of the contract. Certain details tend to present more problems than others, though, and your attorney should pay special attention the sections covering the project’s timeline, cost and payment schedule, “Act of God” clause, change order agreement, warranty, attorneys’ fees, and contract default provision. To read more about this, check out this Nolo article.

Contact DZ Law to review your construction contract now!

Regardless of the type of work you’re getting done or the exact structure of the contract, you should have an attorney review it to make sure you get exactly what you’re owed. Call us at 865-259-0020 or send us a message to schedule a consultation now.