Home-Remodeling Contractors Need Legal Protection
Home-remodeling projects are on the rise. According to reporting from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), an estimated $300 billion will be spent on home improvements in the year 2016 alone. Not only would this be the 5th straight year of rising home improvement expenditures, but it would also be a new record, passing the pre-housing crisis mark of $285 billion set in 2007. These market conditions have created many alluring business opportunities for construction companies and contractors. However, it is critically important that contractors take proper measures to protect themselves before beginning work on a project. The last thing your company needs is a contract dispute that could cost you both time and money.
Four Tips for Contract Tips for Home Improvement Contractors
- You Need a Contract Before Beginning Work
Do not skip this important step. You should never begin work on a project or start providing materials for a project until the contract is in place. This is true even if you have a great deal of trust in the homeowner or business. Remember, if you lack a contract, you have dramatically restricted your legal rights and options. Your business will have a far more difficult time recovering fair compensation in the event of a dispute.
- Be Sure That Your Contract Properly Protects Your Interests
Simply having a standardized form contract is seldom good enough. You need to ensure that the contract properly provides protection for your company’s legal rights and financial interests. This is why it is so important to obtain legal guidance before entering into any agreement. Your attorney will be able to be certain that the contract you have is fair, enforceable and in your best interests.
- Understand All Contractor-Subcontractor Relationships
Many home improvement projects are highly complex. There may be multiple different contractors or subcontractors providing labor or materials on site. If your company is the primary contractor, you need to be certain that the relationships between your business and any subcontractors are fully clarified. Likewise, if your company is a subcontractor, you need to get a contract in place that will ensure that your company is paid in full, without undue delay.
- Be Prepared to Get a Construction Lien
Finally, your company must accept the fact that there is always the possibility of a dispute. After all, construction disputes can arise for many different reasons. The good news is the Florida provides strong legal tools to help contractors recover fair compensation for their work. One of the most important legal tools is the ability to put a construction lien on the property if full payment has not been received. However, your company will only be able to use this tool if it follows proper procedures during the project. Specifically, this means that your company has to provide the owner with adequate notice that work is being done, your business must be licensed by the state of Florida and you must take action within 90 days of finishing work on the home improvement project.
Contact Our Office Today
The West Palm Beach business litigation attorneys at Pike & Lustig, LLP have extensive experience handling all types of contract disputes. Our team can draft or review your contracts and we can represent your company through litigation. We proudly represent businesses throughout South Florida, including in Dade County and Broward County.