1. Bad Contract, Good Result

    Frank Salame owns a home in Pomona, California. Eleven months out of the year, Frank works in Lebanon as an engineer on building projects. When no one is home in Pomona, Frank has a friend, Antoinette Auon, look after his house. While Frank was in Lebanon, neighbors noticed a liquid leaking from under the garage […]

  2. Rocket Lawyer Contract in Maryland

      Laura and Daniel Holland wanted a custom home built on their Pocomoke City, Maryland dairy farm. They selected an architect to draw plans for a 3,912 SF residence. After several rounds of negotiations and changes, Don Littleton of Wicked Professional Services Inc. (WPS) agreed to build the house for $700,250. Don emailed Ms. Holland […]

  3. Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

    Every contractor knows the temptation: use cash from job A to cover expenses on job B. That’s called diversion of funds. It’s perfectly legal in some states and a crime in others. But it’s not good business in any state. The Massachusetts case of Damian Anketell illustrates my point.

  4. National Estimator Cloud Quarterly Cost Update Summary - JULY 2022

    Craftsman’s National Estimator Cloud includes 10 costbooks which are updated quarterly. Here’s a partial summary of recent costbook-specific updates. CONSTRUCTION, JULY 2022 — sections (and pages) updated: OSB  (203) Plywood (202-204, 460) Carpentry (32-37, 39-51, 56-57, 61-62, 67, 98-100, 283, 331, 389-397, 403, 476, 591, 593) Concrete Formwork (87-89, 93, 338-346, 352-353, 360, 363-369, 377-378) Framing […]

  5. Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill

    A contractor does it right – and saves thousands. Most of my blog posts are about missed opportunities — how a good contract could have avoided a costly mistake. But occasionally, a contractor does it right – and saves thousands. Consider a case decided last week by a Ventura, CA court. Plyley v. Renovating Specialist, […]

  6. Powerful Words in Any Contract

    Powerful Words in Any Contract Disputes are common on construction sites. Every contractor knows that. And any dispute can derail a project – turn a potential money-maker into a money pit. Many disputes profiled on these pages became epic legal struggles lasting years. A few of those cases ran up legal fees more than the […]

  7. When Do I Need a Contract?

    Every construction project needs a contract. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia require a written contract on all residential jobs: AR, AZ, CA, CT, DC, DE, HI, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MS, ND, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV and WY. Twelve […]

  8. Traps for Construction Managers

    Many experienced construction pros prefer working as construction managers rather than construction contractors. And for good reason. Compared to conventional construction contracting, construction management contracting offers major advantages: far less risk, very little working capital needed, no employees, no inventory, no payables, no warranties or callbacks, no investment, no liens. And it’s perfectly legal. Better […]

  9. Wage Theft in New York

    New York construction contractors get a new headache on January 4, 2022. New code sections make prime contractors liable if subs don’t pay their employees or independent contractors. Hold your breath and think about that for a second. Suppose you’ve paid your subs on a project and have a full book of lien releases. Then, […]

  10. Awarding Damages in Florida

    Mike Judet’s South Florida home was severely damaged by lightning in 2016. He accepted an offer from Cano, Inc. of West Palm Beach to make the repairs. The contract price was $300,000, payable in $30,000 installments. Cano started work. Judet made the first three payments, $90,000. Then Judet discovered a problem. Cano hadn’t bothered to […]

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