Here at Construction Law Musings, we always preach that a good contract is the best way to start a project off right. No only do the Virginia courts enforce these contracts to a “T,” a well drafted contract can and does set the expectations for both sides so that those wonderful grey areas that we construction attorneys love to play in do not exist.
A good construction contract sets expectations, educates those that do not necessarily know exactly what you as a contractor plan to do or the process you’ll use to accomplish the goals, and importantly sets forth how disputes and claims will be resolved in the (hopefully) unlikely event of such a situation. These are all great ideas from my attorney perspective.
Lest you think that this advice is only from an attorney perspective, a great recent post by contractor and consultant Michael Stone states what seems obvious after reading the article, namely: A Poorly Written Contract Will Cost You Money. Like me, he does not think that a contract needs to be complicated, just thorough. The article takes a business perspective (one that even as a construction attorney I try to take) on contract drafting. The article is summarized as follows:
Let me suggest a minimum standard for your contracts. Every contract should have three sections: the Customer/Contractor information, the Job Details and the Legalese.
And goes into more detail from there.
Thanks to Mr. Stone for his great insight and some confirmation that even non-lawyers can and do see the value of a well written contract with the proper dose of “legalese.”
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