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Construction Law Authority / Contracts  / Contracting Tips for Owners

Contracting Tips for Owners

Most of my practice concerns the representation of Owners. I am routinely involved in the preparation of construction contracts for re-roofing of structures, repainting of structures, major alterations and site improvements. Although it is very basic, owners need to take care to make sure the contracts they sign for these types of construction services protect them. Here are a couple of tips:

  • If it is a one page contract (perhaps with fine print on the reverse side) handed to you by the contractor, it is probably not going to be adequate to protect the owner. 
  • If the contract does not have a specific commencement and completion date with those time requirements being of the essence of the contract, then in most occasions the contract is not adequate. 
  • If the contract does not require the contractor to have insurance and list the types of insurance and the amounts of coverage which are to be carried, then it is not adequate.
  • The contract should have a provision providing for prevailing party attorneys’ fees and specify the exclusive venue (location) where any lawsuit arising out of the contract would have to be filed. 

These are only a few of the items that an owner should be looking for in contracts. Perhaps the most important thing of all is to make sure your lawyer reviews the contract before you sign it.

Herb Brock, Jr.

Mr. Brock's practice primarily concerns Construction Litigation matters. He began his legal career in New Jersey where he practiced for ten years and was a named partner in the firm of Morris, Brock and Partenhymer prior to moving to Florida. During law school, he received the American Jurisprudence Award for the study of Civil Procedure and served as the Research Editor of the Rutgers Camden Law Journal. He has practiced law in Florida with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. since 1985.

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