1. Construction Contracting in the Age of COVID-19

    As of this writing, governors of five states have issued “stay at home” orders. How many more states will do the same is anyone’s guess. So far, each of these orders is different.  But all prohibit going to work – except for essential services. On that basis, nearly all construction jobs in these states will […]
  2. 3-Day Cancellation -- State vs. Federal Notices

    “If I give my state’s 3-day cancellation notice, do I also have to give the federal 3-day notice?” A simple question. And a good one. But the answer gets complex.

  3. Construction Management Contracting

    Construction Management Contracting in Montana Dr. Gary Jystad practiced family medicine and surgery for over 50 years in Montana. In 1991, he built a log home on Flathead Lake in Rollins, MT, the “dream home” of his wife Mary Ellen. A tragic fire in 2016 devastated the main building, leaving the garage and guest house […]

  4. An Act of Bad Faith

    Bad Faith Contracting Dominick Vivona has a home in a wooded area near Greenwich, Connecticut. In June of 2017, he set out to build a treehouse for his kids. Vivona sketched a design and found an experienced carpenter, Walter Reyes, to do the work for $6,000. Reyes drew plans for the job, pulled the permit […]

  5. Liens vs. Contracts in Connecticut

    Liens vs. Contracts in Connecticut Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia require a written contract for residential work. See my blog post Contracting on a Handshake for the list of states. But the obvious question is, “What happens if my job in one of those states doesn’t have a legal contract? Can I still collect?”

  6. Who Pays for Mistakes

    Who Pays for Mistakes You’ve been here before. Every contractor has. Something doesn’t pass inspection. It’s clearly wrong. Work has to be torn out and re-done. The question is, “Who pays?” Was it the fault of the prime? Or the sub? Or the architect or engineer?

  7. Contractor Without a Contract

    Contractor Without a Contract Nearly all public works projects are done on terms set by the public agency. The contractor has little or no say in the matter. It’s only on smaller residential and commercial jobs that contractors get to shape the agreement – offer terms likely to save the day if the job goes […]

  8. Deletion Change Orders

    Nothing I’ve seen causes contractors more legal headaches than change orders. If you’ve dipped into the pages of this blog over the last ten years, you’ve seen how changes in the work can spoil nearly any job. A New York case decided last month illustrates the point. Here’s what happened. Lanmark Group, a New York […]

  9. How Long Can A Contractor Be Held Responsible For Construction Defect?

    Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Fire damaged Terry Bridgwood’s home in Newburyport, MA a few years ago. Cost of repair was over $40,000. Apparently, the fire started in a ceiling light fixture. That’s strange. Light fixtures shouldn’t start fires. Her attorney agreed and did some checking.

  10. What Makes a Good Home Appraisal?

    Appraisals Appraisals come in at least three flavors. The first is based on comps. What would a comparable property sell for in the same area? The second is based on expected revenue. That’s the most common way to appraise commercial properties. The third type of appraisal is the replacement cost. In some ways, cost-based appraisals […]

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