Experienced contractors know that every construction project should be started with a construction contract. This agreement sets out the rights and obligations for all parties working on the project. It can be a short document in plain English or a mountain of paperwork, but in either case you should know what you are signing. Here at Smiley Law we want to share our years of experience in drafting, negotiating and enforcing Louisiana construction law contracts so that you can go into your next project fully prepared.
Common Clauses in Louisiana Construction Contracts
Of course we recommend that you hire a Louisiana construction lawyer to review any construction contract that you are going to sign. Regardless you should get a working knowledge of what will appear in the document.
A contract is generally made up of “clauses” or provisions, which refer to obligations and expectations on each party. Some of the standard clauses include:
- Scope of Work – this provision dictates the work that will need to be completed under the contract and usually the timeframe for completion. This should be very detailed so that there is no ambiguity.
- Change Order and Extra Work – if either party needs to make a change to the scope of work, this clause defines the steps required and consequences for doing so.
- Pay When Paid Clauses – sets up a timing mechanism for the general contractor to pay subcontractors when owners pay for that specific subs’ work (does not set up a condition precedent like in a “pay if paid” clause; the GC owes the sub regardless of payment by the owner).
- Indemnity Provisions – this transfers the risk between owners, general contractors and subcontractors to prevent loss and compensate for harm that might result from something happening on the project (example: general contractor indemnifies owner for any injuries that happen to subcontractors during the project – this shifts the risk to the GC).
- Claim Notice Requirements – these clauses generally state that contractors notify the owner of anything that arises which will either cost the owner additional money such as claims for compensation or damages, or delays.
If you are working on a construction project in Louisiana then you should seriously consider having an attorney review the document prior to signing it. This does not need to be a complicated process. In fact, most contract reviews are pretty straightforward.
Here at Smiley Law Group, we offer a flat fee rate for contract review services. Just provide us with the contract documents, and we’ll do the review in a day or two. You will get a short review document from us that points out provisions that you might want to change (“alerts”) and provisions that require you to perform certain actions during the course of the project (“notification lists”). Contact the Smiley Law Group for a free consultation today.