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302 W. Boscawen St.
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 722-6800
jfine@joanfinelaw.com

Construction Contracts

Individual or Company about to hire a Contractor

If you are an individual or a company about to hire a contractor, you need a checklist of questions to ask before you hire your contractor. We can help you by reviewing the facts of your situation, develop your checklist, and review your contract before you sign it. The following is a sample checklist:

  1. For new constructions, including additions, do you/your architect have plans?
  2. For renovation of an existing building; do you have as-builts and new plans?
  3. Does the prospective contractor have the following:
    1. Licenses: based on the dollar amount of the work, the contractor needs the following in Virginia
      1. Class C - $10,000 max per job.
      2. Class B - $120,000 max per job.
      3. Class A – Over $120,000.
    2. Local business license, if the municipality requires them.
    3. Permit/will apply for building permit.
    4. Workers comp and general liability coverage.
    5. A Contract with all construction and selection details in for you/your attorney to review.

Contractor

If you are a contractor about to start a project, be sure your contract provides for written Change Orders, signed by the parties and enforce that provision! When you are about to start a project, be sure you have the appropriate license(s) for the work you are doing. Lenders are starting to ask for proof of contractor’s licenses and areas in which contractors are licensed, especially as that relates to mold remediation, electrical, HVAC and plumbing. Should you be a subcontractor on a project, a thorough review of the prime contractor’s contract should be performed prior to you signing it.

One pitfall I have seen repeatedly is owner (or owner’s agent) hires their own subcontractor (not under contract with contractor) to perform certain work. Contractor must state in writing that contractor will not warrant this work.

To prepare for your meeting with an attorney, be prepared to bring a copy of your license(s), a list of sample clients, which should include size of the job and special areas of expertise.

We can help you prepare or revise your contract. Please call our office at (540) 722-6800. We're here to help.