Craftsman Book Company

  • 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.

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  • 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:

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  • 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:

     

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  • 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.

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  • 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?

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  • 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:

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  • 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:

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  • 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.

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  • 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:

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  • Seven Ways to Avoid Surprises

    Was there ever a construction project that went exactly as planned?

    More often, you’re going to have a surprise, something unexpected – like a mistake in the plans or some site condition that requires extra work. Anything can go wrong on a job. And the result is nearly always the same – extra time and higher cost. No contractor is immune from surprises. But it’s easy to limit the damage when a surprise happens.

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