Commercial Building Construction: Working With Your Contractor

13 September 2017
 Categories: Law, Blog

If you're the owner of a commercial land lot and want to build, enlisting the expertise of a contractor is one of the first tasks you'll complete. Your contractor is your partner throughout the entire ordeal, and can help make your building perfect. However, if you don't have much experience with these professionals, the following pointers could help.

Understand and Negotiate Contract Terms 

Your contractor will offer you their standard contract before they start work. This is normal, but remember that you have to agree to everything in it. Don't ignore certain parts that you don't think apply to you or that you don't find important; before signing, ensure that you're comfortable with the entire document. 

You also have the absolute right to challenge various parts of the contract. If you want to change something, be sure to bring it up at your next meeting with the contractor. You might ask a construction lawyer to go through it with you so you're certain that the contract is fair to both you and the contractor.

Define Work Responsibilities

Perhaps the greatest thing you can do to ensure harmony between yourself and the contractor is to lay down ground rules and a crystal clear scope of work for them. Misunderstandings about what their role is and what your input will be can cause arguments, delays and endless construction problems, so clearing things up before ground is broken is vital.

There are many answers you need. For instance, who will check with the permits office about the status of various applications? Who will contact subcontractors to make sure they're on schedule? Who will schedule the work of each subcontractor? When you and the contractor understand who is in charge of various tasks, working is more easily done.

Make Writing Your Primary Mode of Communication

To avoid confusion, you've got to make it a habit to communicate with your contractor through written means. Whether it's through letters or emails, being able to track a conversation can disprove mistaken claims and if you should have a falling out with them, you can have proof of what was said. Even when you do speak with your contractor, jot down some notes so your memory remains intact.

A strong relationship with your contractor is based on respect and heeding the pointers here. Consult a construction law firm, like Sauro & Bergstrom, PLLC, for more guidance and direction during this partnership and the construction process.