Construction Contracts for Property Owners

We can help you draft or review a construction contract. Our experience includes both drafting/reviewing and litigating contracts. By approaching both aspects of the contract (creating the contract and taking it apart) we are able to counsel you regarding pitfalls we have seen.


 Reviewing/revising a contract before signing is substantially less expensive than litigation after signing if problems occur. The following are some of the contract issues we need to discuss before you sign the Contract.


  1. Scope of work and price.
    1. Be specific. If it isn’t in the written contract it will be difficult to prove.
    2. List any exclusions from the scope of work.
  2. Completion deadline. Do you have a firm completion deadline because you have to move?
  3. Payment Terms.
    1. Progress payments – when? Monthly?
    2. Time and materials?
    3. Flat fee?
  4. Change Orders should be in writing and signed by all parties.
  5. Insurance – what insurance should your contactor carry?
    1. Commercial General Liability.
    2. Property/Builder’s Risk.
  6. Dispute Resolution Provision.
  7. Damages for delays or defaults by the contractor should be specified.
  8. Termination.


 Provisions that can make or break a contract for you:

  1. Penalty provision (damages) for delays. Without this provision, you may not have grounds to sue for damages if completion is delayed.
  2. Penalty provision for default. Same reasoning as #1 above.
  3. In Virginia, provision for prevailing party to be awarded attorney’s fees. If you don’t have this provision and you sue for performance, default, etc. you will be paying your own attorney’s fees without any chance of being reimbursed, even if you prevail.


We will listen to your expectations and limitations, discuss your options and help you finalize the Contract.




Construction Law, Contracts



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