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Know what components should be in a construction contract

Construction projects are costly endeavors for the person commissioning the project. Because most of these individuals aren't professionals, they hire a general contractor to complete the job. These individuals must work closely with each other if the project is going to be successful.

At the heart of every construction project is a solid contract that protects both sides. There must be some specific points in them. Each of these must be fully discussed and agreed upon since they will govern the working relationship.

Job specifics

The scope of the job must be covered in the contract. There is a big difference between replacing sheetrock in a bathroom and renovating the entire bathroom. The more detailed the information in this section of the contract, the better everyone can ensure they are on the same page about what to expect. Each area of the project should be covered. It might be helpful to include blueprints or rough drawings of what is going to happen.

Timeline expectations

All construction projects have a timeline. The contract should state when the work will begin and when it will end. The contractor should be familiar with Florida weather and should be able to plan for the "what ifs" that come along with a specific project. Most of them will cushion the timeline a bit so that there is some wiggle room in case something goes wrong.

Special considerations

The special considerations of the project should be clearly outlined. These are things like a flexible timeline because of having to wait for custom woodwork to be delivered or something similar. Any plans for hiring subcontractors might be discussed in this section. This is also a place to include some of the financial standards, including an escalation clause, to cover increases in some expenses when a project is slated to last longer than a year.

Dispute resolution

Your construction contract should include a dispute resolution clause that outlines what is going to happen if the client and the contractor come to an impasse. This is important because it will have to be followed specifically as written. For example, don't have mediation in the clause if you have no intention of working with the mediator to resolve the issue.

When there is an issue with the construction project, both sides can turn to the contract to find out what's next. Depending on the terms, it might be possible to head to court or go through an alternative dispute resolution session.

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