Every construction project should begin with a written contract that identifies the project and explains the work requirements.
The wording of the contract is critical not only to ensure the success of the project but also to protect the contractor against liability.
Perform in a workmanlike manner
Confirm that the contractor will manage the project in a “workmanlike manner.” This may reference the way other contractors carry out work in the community. If a lawsuit arises, the contractor could face experts for the opposing party who will testify as to work performance on the project in question.
Follow manufacturer instructions
Almost all manufacturers provide installation instructions for their materials and products. Contractors must ensure that they are careful to follow these instructions. A trade association, such as the National Association of Homebuilders, may publish industry standards for the products that its industry commonly uses.
Define the scope of work
The construction contract must clearly define the scope of work along with associated plans and specifications. The most common disputes arise because of change orders, which lead to issues over pricing for any extra work.
Ensure clear wording
Other disputes can develop over construction defects, subcontractor substitutions, changes in materials or materials suppliers and similar problems. Clear language is essential both in terms of writing the original contract and documenting any changes to that contract. The construction agreement must be clear to all parties and written in plain language that avoids misinterpretation.
In order to avoid a legal battle, ensure that the agreement is sound and that it documents all the work it covers properly.