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Articles

  1. Construction Contract Law Gibberish

      The law in most states puts residential contractors at a disadvantage. Omit a required notice or disclosure and your contract is probably unenforceable (at best) and could earn you a fine (or worse). That’s called consumer protection law. No use complaining. It’s not going away. Continue reading →
  2. Waiving the 3-Day Right to Cancel

      Every residential contractor knows about an owner's 3-day right to cancel, sometimes called the Reg Z notice. Any time you do work on the principal residence of an owner (whether new construction, improvement or repair) you have to: Continue reading →
  3. Changes in Construction Contract Law

      Most state legislatures make their changes to the law effective on either January 1 or July 1 of each year. Here’s a state-by-state summary of major changes to construction contract law taking effect on July 1, 2012: Continue reading →
  4. Living with Pennsylvania's HICPA

      My March2009 blog suggested that Pennsylvania's Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (HICPA) didn’t have to be a deal breaker for residential contractors in PA. The law (effective July 1, 2009) was written to tip the playing field in favor of owners when negotiating for home improvement work. But the legislature in Harrisburg didn’t think of everything. There are still good ways for contractors to protect themselves. The March 2009 blog lists seven good ways to cut your risk on Pennsylvania home improvement jobs. Continue reading →
  5. If you’ve been a contractor for a while . . .

      You know about headaches that come with any project – risk of loss, regulation, code compliance, employees, warranty claims, liens, and – always – the need for more capital. Continue reading →
  6. Illegal Construction Contracts

      All states set standards for construction contracts. The notices and disclosures required by state law vary with the size of the job, type of work, materials used, who signs the agreement and even where the contract is signed. To see what’s required where you do business, go to Construction-Contract.net and click on your state. Continue reading →
  7. E-Sign Your Construction Contracts

      I’ve been asked, “Can I get my contracts E-signed -- send my contract to a client as an email attachment, get an electronic signature and then have the E-signed contract emailed back to me?” Continue reading →
  8. Why Contractors Like ADR

      Construction disputes usually start with a surprise – something nobody considered. A good contract anticipates the most likely surprises. But no contract is perfect. Occasionally you’re going to have a dispute. Continue reading →
  9. Insurance Repair Work in Illinois

      Starting January 1, 2012, residential contractors in Illinois have to jump through another hoop. If any part of a job may be covered by insurance proceeds, section 513/18 of Illinois’ Home Repair and Remodeling Act will require a special notice in the contract and extra cancellation forms. Section 513/18 applies if:   Continue reading →
  10. A.I.A. Contracts vs. ConsensusDOCS

      In April 2009, Bennett Builders signed a contract to remodel the Stamford, CT home of Tarun Mehta. It was a cost plus job at a price not to exceed $446,900. Under the agreement, work was to be completed by October 2009. Over a year later, work still wasn’t done and Mehta terminated the agreement. Bennett filed suit for $31,754.94 still due on the contract and asked the court for a pre-judgment remedy, an attachment of $32,000 on Mehta’s home. Continue reading →

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