Never Sign A Construction Contract without a lawyer

Posted by: Apr 27, 2014By Brian Stutheit

Stutheit & Gartland has multiple clients right now who regret that they did not hire an attorney before they signed up with their contractor.  Here are some rights our clients gave away, because they did not

read and understand construction contracts

The right to sue for defects.  Instead, the homeowners are forced to arbitrate.  In two instances, the clients actually agreed to arbitrate with someone picked by the contractor.

The right to approve any additional and unanticipated charges in writing.

The right to share equally with the contractor in the cost of mediation or arbitration.

The right to go after the builder’s parent or affiliated companies.

The right to sue sales people, even if their promises prove to be false.

The right to control when draws against a construction loan are payable to the contractor.

The right to know specifically what details are being constructed, and of what quality.

The right to demand repairs before the builder or contractor has been paid in full.

The right to see the engineering reports and talk to the engineers without first making full payment.

The right to know who the builder is using for plumbing, electrical roofing, painting and other critical tasks.

The right to lien waivers at certain stages of a project.

The right to insist that the contractor provide insurance for completion of the job.

It cannot be stressed enough.  A home is your biggest investment.  You are going to be stuck there for a long time. Never sign a contract for construction without knowing what it means.  We promise, you are better off using an attorney.  As a result you may not sign the contract which your builder insists you sign, but you will not live to regret that you did.  What you will find out during negotiations is whether the builder wants to work with you, or abuse you.  There are lots of builders and contractors who will work with you to arrive at a fair and transparent arrangement.