1. Got Insurance?

        Insurance is like a hard hat – a good choice on nearly any construction project. But many contractors don’t have full coverage. Let’s take a realistic look at a contractor’s insurance options.     We’re talking about two types of coverage; liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Liability insurance protects the general public. If there’s a loss and if the contractor is at fault, the liability insurance carrier steps in. Workers’ comp covers employees injured on the job.   Continue reading →
  2. Construction Warranty in 50 States

      Warranty isn’t a popular topic with contractors. Warranty claims come in two sizes, expensive and even more expensive. Worse, no one wins a warranty dispute. And there’s almost nothing a contractor can do to avoid warranty claims. Better to cross your fingers and ignore the subject.     If that’s how you feel, keep reading. I’ll offer another viewpoint.   Continue reading →
  3. Allowances, Alternates and Unit Prices

    Once a month or so I give a talk to a class of young men and women studying for careers in construction. I usually make a point that wasn’t true 50 years ago but is true now without question. Construction is a heavily regulated industry.Government takes an interest in every construction project, from the moment the contract is signed through final inspection. You could probably cite a dozen examples. I’ll mention just one. All states set standards for construction contracts, especially residential construction. And among residential jobs, home improvement gets the most scrutiny from government. A prime example: Six states prohibit time and material (“cost plus”) contracts for home improvement work: Continue reading →
  4. Changes for New Jersey Contractors

      The New Jersey legislature has been busy since Super Storm Sandy put damage repair on page one of the news. Legislators in Trenton have introduced over a dozen bills designed to change the way New Jersey contractors make a living. Don’t expect any of these to make your life easier. Here are highlights:   Continue reading →
  5. Home Solicitation Sales

      Have you ever bid a job without visiting the site?     Not likely. Nearly every bid should begin with a job walk. All construction contractors understand that. But here’s something you may not understand.   Continue reading →
  6. Oral Change Orders

      Every construction project deserves a written contract. For residential work, 31 states and the District of Columbia require a written agreement.     But what about contract changes? Is a written change order required every time you do extra work?   Continue reading →
  7. Fair Warning for New York Contractors

      The state of New York doesn’t license construction contractors. But don’t be confused. Staying out of legal trouble in New York isn't simple. Here’s why:   Continue reading →
  8. 2014 Construction Contract Law

      Twenty-five states have made changes to construction contract law in the last six months. Some of these changes are trivial. Others will affect contracts for most jobs in a state. The highlights:   Continue reading →
  9. Rocket Lawyer: Caveat Emptor

      Search for “free construction contract” on the Web and you’ll find Rocket Lawyer near the top of the paid ads. You’ll probably see claims in that ad: “100% free” and “binding in each state.” What could be wrong with that?     I’ll count the ways.   Continue reading →
  10. Tilt the Contract Your Way

      All construction contracts are not created equal. Most attorneys will confirm that they could write a construction contract that either:   Continue reading →

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