Frequently Asked Construction Law Questions
Do I really need a lawyer for a construction project?
Yes. As with any business decision it is important to have someone with the proper legal expertise on your team. Our lawyers understand all of the potential situations that can arise on a construction site, and they know the solutions that you will need to keep your project running smoothly.
Is an oral construction contract legally valid?
An oral contract may be valid. It depends on your jurisdiction and the terms to which you have agreed. However, even when an oral construction contract is legally sound, it is not necessarily a good idea. Conflicts can arise in any construction project, and there are many opportunities for misunderstanding.
Both parties are better off with a clearly written document that sets out, in detail, the rights and responsibilities of everyone involved.
My contractor gave me a written estimate at the start of the project, but now he is billing me for more than the estimate. Can they do that?
An estimate is an estimate, and nothing more. The contractor is making an educated guess at how much the project will cost you if no complications arise. This number may change, so you should ensure that you know whether the price quoted is an estimate or a firm price before you sign a contract.
You may have cause to be suspicious if the estimate was significantly lower than the actual price charged and if the explanation for this seems unreasonable. If you were induced to sign a contract by an estimate that bears no relation to the actual price, you may have a claim for fraud against the contractor.