Craftsman Book Company

  • Checklist for Florida Contractors

     

    I'm asked occasionally to recommend a simple 2-page construction contract.

    Where can I get a contract like that?

    If you see one of these two-page wonders, you can be sure it's junk – at least in the State of Florida. The legislators in Tallahassee have seen to that. Every valid Florida construction contract will include several pages of notices and disclosures required by Florida law.

    If you've been using a two-page contract for residential construction in Florida, here's a handy guide to what you're missing.

     

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  • What Connecticut Home Builders and eBay Have in Common

     

    July 1, 2009 was a red letter day for residential contractors in Connecticut. The Nutmeg State adopted a protocol that eBay, Amazon, and others have used for years. These Web vendors make it easy for customers to know who they're dealing with. eBay calls it their "Feedback Profile." Click the link and you'll see ratings and comments about a particular vendor. Starting July 1, Connecticut requires about the same thing – but not on the Web. Connecticut wants a feedback link embedded in residential construction contracts.

     

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  • "Legal in All 50 States"

    Go browsing on the Web for construction contracts and you'll see braggadocio about some boilerplate contract being "legal in all 50 states."

    Claims like this show up on Web sites run by savvy people with good credentials but who should know better. If you've skimmed over any of the earlier entries in this blog archive, you know how foolish it is to claim any construction contract is "legal in all 50 states."

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  • Oregon's New Construction Contract Law

     

    Legislators in Salem dropped a list of new statutes on Oregon contractors in 2008. Like many other states, Oregon has jumped with both feet into writing residential construction contracts. And, like other states, Oregon imposes stiff penalties on contractors who aren’t paying attention. Most of the new requirements are simple disclosures designed to educate the buyer (home owner) before agreeing to anything.

     

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  • End of the Texas RCC

     

    The much-maligned Texas Residential Construction Commission Act (TRCCA) is about to fade into the sunset if activists in Texas get their way. TRCCA took root in 2004. The legislated purpose was to (1) promote quality construction by registering home builders, (2) serve as a resource for home owners and (3) offer neutral technical review of alleged construction defects. Sounds good so far.

     

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  • California Business and Professions Code § 7159

     

    If you're a licensed B1 contractor in California, you probably know all about Cal B&P; 7159. It's caused more than a little grief for more than a few California contractors, some of them now former California contractors. Cal B&P; 7159 is Sacramento's effort to rewrite every contract for home improvement, remodeling and repair work throughout the state – adding about eight pages to even the shortest agreement.

     

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  • Massachusetts Home Improvement: The Spirit of '76

     

    The Commonwealth has been marching to its own drummer since Revolutionary times. So it was probably inevitable that Massachusetts would go its own way in handling grievances against home improvement contractors.

    Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) runs a home improvement arbitration program designed to keep construction defect claims out of Massachusetts courts.

     

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  • A New Dawn for Georgia Contractors: Warranty

     

    Not many residential contractors in Georgia are good at writing warranties for their work. Builders usually think of warranties as bad news: Nothing good ever came from a warranty. Better to ignore the issue and hope clients never give it a thought.

     

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  • Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act

     

    Cory and Angela Bogard needed more space in their Casey, Illinois home. In the fall of 2004, Dan Smith of Dan R. Smith Building Services offered to put a 26' x 20' addition on the Bogards' living-room for "$20,000 or less". Cory and Angela accepted Dan's offer and he started work the following month. By February, Dan had pocketed $15,000 in progress payments and was nearly done. His final bill was $10,515, bringing the total cost of the job to $25,515. That was a little over budget. But at $49 per square foot, Cory and Angela got a pretty good deal. Unfortunately for Dan, that wasn't the end of it.

     

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  • Pennsylvania's Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act

     

    Pennsylvania has joined New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Florida, California and other states in micro-managing construction contracts for home improvement work. Pennsylvania's Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (HICPA) is intended to protect owners when negotiating home improvement jobs. But HICPA's list of contract requirements is like a ridge board made from utility grade lumber: long but with plenty of loopholes. It's easy to move contract bias back to favor home improvement contractors. That's the subject of this blog.

     

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