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Florida Construction Law Blog

Be aware of construction defects

As a contractor, your business thrives because your work is free from errors. Costly construction defects are anathema to reputable contractors whose reputation rides on their finished work.

What kinds of deficiencies can occur to mar your company's good name? It can be anything at any stage of the build or renovation. Was the design poorly planned or executed? Or maybe a lack of supervision caused the construction to be shoddy. The foreman may have too quickly done the final inspection, missing glaring errors that were immediately apparent to the homeowner.

Legally protect your reputation from damage

Disgruntled clients come with the territory for contractors. While the majority of your clients will be well-satisfied with your building efforts, a small subset of your customers may seem to never be satisfied with the quality of your work.

Clients can have legitimate complaints that need to be addressed promptly. Often, all that needs to be done is quite minor, e.g., re-planing a door that sticks or patching a roof leak. Certainly, it is far better to spend an extra hour or three getting it right than triggering the client's ire and fomenting ill will.

That kink in your money line can cost you

Very few companies or individuals are able to donate their services gratis. Most general contractors (GC) and subcontractors need to show up on the clock and await payment. But a problem arises when there is too much delay between work performed and payment rendered.

According to research, annually, both GCs and subs lose around $64 billion when payments are not timely rendered. Statistics indicate that it is especially difficult for subs who are material- and labor-intensive when the lag between labor and payment averaged 51 days. Over 60% of subs declined bids on projects when it was iffy when the GC or property owner would pay for the labor costs.

Should you seek legal advice for your business?

As a contractor, do you ever feel as if you are wearing too many hats? You may want to remain fully involved in all aspects of your thriving business, but are you doing yourself a disservice with this approach?

There is nothing wrong with being a hands-on business owner. But micromanaging your employees and involving yourself in matters that are clearly out of your wheelhouse can sometimes backfire spectacularly.

Workers' claims could embroil you in lawsuits

Contractors who are also business owners frequently find themselves wearing many different hats. They must be ready to go out into the field and inspect the project underway, but they must also be able to play the role of administrator of their contracting businesses. When a disgruntled client complains about a problem, they have to also be able to quickly and civilly respond to the situation.

Playing all of those roles can become wearisome, but it's all in a day's work for those in the contracting business.

You could face lawsuits in the wake of Hurricane Dorian

As Labor Day weekend dawns in South Florida, Hurricane Dorian continues to bear down on the eastern coastline. This certainly is a storm capable of wreaking much destruction to our area, and there will likely be extensive repairs and rebuilding needed in its wake.

In some cases, that can pose some sticky legal situations for local contractors. Typically, after major hurricanes strike, a plethora of subcontractors and construction crews flood into the most damaged regions.

What is a 'Damage To Your Work' exclusion?

It's essential to a contractor's business model to subcontract work to other local builders. No single contractor can manage to wear all the hats that are demanded on a busy home construction site.

So, what happens when flaws in a subcontractor's work allegedly cause damage to the property? Who bears the liability for any ensuing claims?

Could technology help you fight bad faith claims?

Contractors often face situations where they wind up as defendants in lawsuits. Litigation that arises from job disputes, whether they are with the clients, workers or subcontractors, can be both burdensome and costly to defend.

It's obviously far better to avoid a potentially litigious situation than it is to launch a defense to one, which is one reason why many contractors are increasingly turning to technology to further insulate them from the threat of litigation.

Get your legal ducks in line on big construction projects

The bigger the construction project on which you embark, the more opportunities there are for something to go wrong somewhere down the line.

That's why it is so essential to make sure that you involve your construction law attorney in the pertinent aspects of your business. For instance, if you are about to sign a major contract, make sure that your attorney reviews its terms before ever signing anything.

Management tips for construction crews

Proper management of your crew is essential to your construction company's bottom line. But because you can't be everywhere at all times, you have to make sure that you hire the right people for supervisory positions.

Below are some tips for better managing your construction crew.

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