201508.06
Off
1

Why You Need a Lawyer to Review Your Home Improvement Contract

The economy is good.  Home improvement contractors are busy, and homeowners are finally undertaking those renovation projects that they postponed when times were bad.  You’ve done your research and found a great contractor.  Everyone is excited to start the job.  Perhaps you glance at the contract, and it seems fine.  Why hire a lawyer to…

201507.29
Off
0

Explaining Allowances in Contracts

To contractors, allowances in contracts may be self-explanatory, but owners often find them confusing.  A typical section on allowances may look like this: Cabinets   $10,000 Kitchen appliances  $25,000 Bathroom fixtures  $20,000 What contracts often don’t explain is, what happens when the full value isn’t used? If I only spend $8,000 on the cabinets, do…

201506.22
Off
0

Why Contractors Should Strive for Excellence

I have many clients who tell me that they’ve never been sued. If a problem develops, they work with their clients and try to resolve it. Working as a contractor who does new construction or remodeling has never been harder. Clients turn to the internet and believe they know how to do it faster, better…

201506.17
Off
0

The Design / Build Contract

Design / Build contractors are really running two businesses at once: there is the design portion of a project, and then there is the actual construction.  Design/Build contractors should therefore have two different contracts for these phases of the job for the following reasons: Design does not fall under the Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor Statute,…

201506.13
Off
0

The Pros and Cons of Design/Build

It seems as though more and more contractors are branding themselves as design/build these days.  The process is attractive for both homeowners and contractors.  Rather than seeking the services of an architect, the homeowner only needs to engage one professional for the design and execution of a renovation project.  The contractor has a great marketing…

201501.10
Off
0

Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Contractors

Communicate with clients. The #1 reason contractors and construction companies get sued?  They don’t maintain proper communication with their clients.  Make sure all change orders are in writing.  Tell clients if a problem develops or if you’ve underbid a job.  Do not stick your head in the sand.  Treat your clients properly, and you will…

201411.07
Off
1

Subcontractors – How to Get Paid

Subcontractors face additional challenges in getting paid.  They are working for the General Contractor and only have a claim against an Owner if they comply with mechanics lien law in Massachusetts. Here are the rules for getting paid: Make sure you have a contract with the General Contractor that indicates your scope of work and…

201411.01
Off
0

How to Get Paid When You’re a General Contractor

The #1 complaint that I hear from contractors is that they have trouble getting paid.  They provide a service to an owner, do additional work when asked, and then when an owner is presented with a bill, the owner ignores it, pays less than asked or refuses to pay at all.  What is a contractor…

201409.28
Off
0

When Contractors Grossly Underbid a Job

I have run into a new pattern of claims recently where either homeowners accept a quote that is significantly below market price, or they try to limit the scope of work to less than is needed.  Simply put, this is a recipe for disaster.   From the contractor’s perspective, he has put himself in a…