Contracts are a must for any commercial construction project. They protect both general contractors and owners, and keep everyone from getting in a sticky situation. If your GC doesn’t mention the need for a contract, let that be a red flag.
Construction contracts are legally binding, so before you sign, consider these nine things:
- Do You Agree on the Timeline?
Lots of unforeseen things can come up that can delay a job and get things off track. But, that doesn’t mean the contractor should drag the project on for months after the specified timeframe. If the timeline in a contract seems too long or unrealistic, consider asking for a revision. The same goes for whether a timeline seems too short and unrealistic.
- Are All Costs Outlined?
Just like unforeseen events affect a project’s timeline, they can also affect costs. However, contracts should outline all of the anticipated costs to complete the build and leave room to specify how additional costs will be covered.
- What Materials Will Be Used?
Materials can be pricey. You’ll want to make sure that your construction company is using the best materials for the job—and, not cutting corners by using lesser quality (and cheaper) materials.
- How Will Issues Be Handled?
It’s tough to anticipate whether issues will arise during a build. Just keep in mind that projects have so many moving parts and involve many different people, so something is bound to come up. Make sure your contract stipulates how issues will be handled and communicated to you.
- How Reputable is Your GC?
Before you ever sign a contract, do some checking on the GC. Ask for references and make sure they have a stellar reputation in the community.
- Do You Get Along with the GC?
You will be spending tons of time with your GC as your project is being built, so you need to get along—or, at least communicate well. Make sure that your GC is there to support you.
- How Will They Keep You in the Loop?
You and your GC need to be constant communication throughout a project. Make sure you have open lines of communication where you will be informed of progress, obstacles, successes and anything else that may crop up throughout the project. Ensure there is a set standard for communication, whether that is an email, a phone call or regular meetings.
- What Happens if Things Go Over Time?
Make sure your contract spells out what happens if things get off track. Good GCs want to avoid losing site of the timeline as well as the budget. So be sure there is a clear understanding of how to address any setbacks in either. There’s also options for adding incentives to boost a timeline’s project.
- How Do You Pay?
Contracts should outline how and when you should pay the GC. Make sure that payment terms are reasonable and that you’re comfortable with them.
It’s always a great idea to have your attorney review any commercial construction contract before you sign. If something doesn’t seem right, talk to your GC about renegotiating it or find a new GC.
At Seacoast Construction, we think of our clients as friends. We will ensure that your project is completed successfully and fairly. Let us be apart of your build. Give us a call at 786-433-8740 to schedule a consultation.
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