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Litigation Blog.
The seasoned lawyers and litigators at The Rubinstein Law Firm are here to share their insights with you.

Protect your construction contract from ambiguous meaning

Doing business on the strength of a handshake is no longer possible in the construction industry. When you are about to begin a project, you must get everything down in writing.

If problems later arise over change orders or related issues, you will need to resolve the question of who pays the extra costs. Proper contract wording will be all-important in the event of a serious dispute.

Scope of work

Construction workers should never begin a project where the work is not documented. In the construction contract, describe the slope of work in detail. Use clear and concise wording to avoid a meaning the reader can interpret in more than one way. To prevent unclear language, use definitive words such as “exclusive” and “only.”

Manufacturer instructions

Make sure you include a reference to the installation of products and materials according to the written instructions of the manufacturers. Manufacturers always want their products installed correctly and expect workers to follow their rigid standards. You can also include the phrase “workmanlike manner” to indicate the professionalism with which the project will proceed.

Industry standards

Trade associations often publish industry standards and guidelines for building materials. Guidelines include those for the installation of drywall, roofing, concrete, wood siding and other materials.

Change orders

One of the most common areas of construction disputes occurs when the customer wants changes. You must avoid an issue by documenting the change order so that it becomes a binding legal document.

Additional documents

If it becomes necessary to write additional documents, avoid confusion by ensuring that you do not cover the same territory as in the original agreement. Remember that clear language is essential to avoid inconsistencies and to keep your construction project moving in the right direction.