Craftsman Book Company

  • Maryland Custom Home Contracts

    If there's a load limit on construction contracts, Maryland must be getting close. The legislators in Annapolis require 21 distinct notices and disclosures in custom home building contracts. As a class, buyers of custom homes in Maryland must be among the best protected anywhere. Omitting any of these disclosures carries heavy consequences. More on that later.

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  • Construction Contracting in Hawaii

    Hawaii has a reputation for making life difficult for contractors who don't toe the line. Sometimes the results border on the ridiculous, at least from a contractor's perspective. Just ask Michael Sakatani, a Honolulu contractor doing business as 808 Development LLC.

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  • Sunset of the Texas RCCA

    The Texas Residential Construction Commission Act (TRCCA) has joined the Alamo as a memorable episode in Texas history. Like defenders of the Alamo, defenders of TRCCA went down swinging. But the result was about the same: A commendable effort that came up a little short.

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  • Checklist for New York Contractors

    Staying legal in the New York construction contracting business begins with licensing.

    New York State licenses only asbestos contractors. But that doesn't make licensing a trivial issue in New York. Cities and counties in New York are free to require a license for any type of construction activity. And many municipal governments do exactly that. For example, New York City licenses home improvement contractors. The site is:

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  • Directions to the New Jersey Supreme Court

    Not many home improvement contractors get their day at the supreme court. But it happened in New Jersey earlier this year. And there's a lesson here for residential contractors in many other states. I'll explain.

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  • 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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