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CONSTRUCTION LAW: EFFECTIVE ARBITRATION CLAUSES FOR YOUR CONTRACT

Arbitration is not just a good alternative to traditional litigation in construction law disputes; it is often a mandatory requirement in Louisiana. Many business owners involved in building a new office or headquarters do not plan for an arbitrated solution. As such, they may not have an arbitration clause in their construction contracts. These clauses are essential for both sides in a construction law dispute.

Those who have not yet experienced a contract or other commercial dispute have time to add arbitration clauses to their contracts. In the interests of helping business owners in the Baton Rouge area, the following section contains several examples of effective arbitration clauses.

  • Who can arbitrate: This clause decides if one party or both parties get to determine if arbitration is necessary.

  • When to arbitrate: Without a clause detailing when arbitration should occur (as close to the time of dispute as possible), wronged parties might have to wait until the completion of the project to seek a solution.

  • How to arbitrate: Adding this clause to your construction contract allows you or the other parties to choose a forum for arbitration. Examples of such forums include the American Arbitration Association and the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service. The right forum might make a difference in the outcome of your arbitration attempts.

  • If a court can review the arbitration: Adding an option for a court review can ensure that the results of arbitration comply with the state's substantive construction law elements.

If you need assistance drafting or rewriting construction law contracts to include the appropriate clauses, please consult with an attorney. This has the added benefit of ensuring that your construction contracts provide you and your business with sound legal protections.

Orion MeyersConstruction Law
WHEN CONSTRUCTION DISPUTES ARISE, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE LEGAL HELP

In thriving cities like Baton Rouge, workers are busy on commercial construction projects nearly every day. To the average resident, these projects seem to flow in a routine manner. However, to those involved in these endeavors, it can be a nail-biting experience. Delays, disputes and other legal issues often arise during building, leaving commercial business owners worried about their bottom lines.

Construction disputes can pose significant financial risks to entrepreneurs trying to build a new office or business center. Such disputes can derail these projects, sometimes costing owners millions of dollars. Advance preparation under the guidance of an experienced attorney can help you avoid construction disputes like the ones in the following section.

  • Errors in contracts between property owners and contractors

  • Misunderstandings over the specifications of the construction project

  • Allegations that defects in construction have occurred

  • Allegations that a contractor or subcontractor failed to abide by the contract

When you work with a construction law attorney, you can prevent some, if not all, of these disputes from happening. Many times, a thorough review of your contracts and your project specifications is all it takes to keep your project on track.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid a dispute. However, it is possible to resolve them in most cases. A legal advocate who is experienced with construction law can provide valuable assistance.

Beginning a new commercial endeavor always comes with a degree of risk, but we believe that preparation is an effective way to reduce these risks. Please continue exploring our website to learn more about business, commercial and construction law.

KNOW SOME POSSIBLE TYPES OF CONSTRUCTION DEFECTS

Construction defects are a problem that home and business owners hope they never have to deal with. These issues can make the structure they've paid so much for and spent so much time waiting on unusable. This is horrible since it devalues the project.

Some construction defects are against the contract that governs the project. This is when you have recourse that might be able to help you get things corrected. When you have an issue with a building process, your first stop needs to be that contract so you can find out what you need to do.

There are several types of defects that you need to be aware of when you are evaluating your project. Some of these defects are easier to spot than others. In fact, some might not be able to be found for months or years after the project is completed.

Some examples of construction defects include:

  • Unstable foundation that might be caused by lack of proper geological survey

  • Electrical issues that are a fire hazard

  • Water intrusion that can lead to mold, including toxic mold

  • Problems with things like the glass, doors and windows

  • Mechanical issues that make part of the home undesirable or unusable

  • Improper protection from moisture and temperatures

  • Design defects that don't take function and aesthetics into account

  • Material defects that use inferior products in the structure

In all of these cases, you need to have the problem corrected so that you have full use of the property as intended. Finding the methods to do this can be complex, especially when the contractor isn't willing to admit that they are liable for the issues.

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION DELAYS CAN COST YOU MONEY

As a business owner, you need things done in a timely manner. When you hire a contractor to remodel or build for your business, you need the project completed by the deadline. Your company can lose money if things aren't finished when they are supposed to be. This is one reason why you need a contract to govern the project.

When a contractor bids on a project, they need to look at various factors to determine the price and timeline for the job. This isn't always easy to determine, but experienced contractors will be able to figure these factors out.

One thing that they must do is to plan for things that might slow the project down. During the process of determining the timeline, they need to think about all of these. This gives them the chance to pad the schedule a little so that you have a realistic idea of how long things will take.

Some of the more common delays that can impact commercial projects include having a long lead time for materials and waiting on permits to be approved. Communication problems can also lead to delays. These are all things that the contractor should plan for when they bid on a contract. It is always better for them to finish ahead of schedule than for you to deal with monetary losses because of delays.

The contract that you sign at the start of the project can be valuable in cases that involve delays. There should be recourse outlined in the contract, so you should review this to determine what options you might pursue if the project is taking longer than expected.

Orion MeyersConstruction Law
CLAUSES IN CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS MUST BE READ CAREFULLY

Construction projects are governed by the expectations of the project that were set when the bid was made. Almost all contractors will have the person sign a contract before embarking on the building. This outlines everything from the terms of the project to the payment expectations. When you are hiring a contractor, be sure to read every word on the paper before you sign.

Unscrupulous contractors might offer a contract on a project with the hope that you aren't going to read the document. This could put you in a difficult situation if the project doesn't go as planned. One specific thing to look for in the contract is what you are able to do if the contractor breaches the contract.

Some contracts include a clause that binds you into using only arbitration if there is a problem. This isn't really a good situation since you are giving up your rights to exercise other options like a lawsuit in court. Instead, you will be limited to presenting your case to an arbitrator and then abiding by the decision that person makes.

Another point to remember is that not all deviations from the contract are going to require you to take action. If you do have to deal with a breach of contract, the court will look at whether it caused you to suffer a material loss. If you didn't lose money or have a serious impact from the breach, you might not be able to receive compensation for the breach.

It is usually a good idea to have someone review the contract before you sign it. A reputable contractor won't try to rush you into signing anything.