What Should Be Covered In A Construction Contract?
The information that should be covered in a construction contract will depend on the specific type of project at hand. If it is a short-term residential project for around $10,000 that will only take a few days to complete, then the only information that would need to be included would be the contract price and the exact work that is going to be done. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for the contractor to include as much detail as possible when describing the nature of the work that will be done. For example, if a contractor is building a block wall, then they should describe where exactly it will be built, what the dimensions will be, which materials will be used, the dates on which the project will be carried out, and the payment plan associated with it. This way there will be no question as to what the contractor is expected to provide and what the property owner’s obligations are.
Most of my work is done on larger commercial projects where my contractor clients are involved in the projects for months, and these contracts require a lot more detail in terms of what will be accomplished. These contracts may include pages of drawings, plans, specifications and exclusions relating to the project. There will also be terms regarding payment applications and what the payment process is, because payments for larger projects will typically be made on a monthly basis for the work that was accomplished the month prior. In all contracts, Arizona law requires the contractor to include their license information. A contractor will also want to include their address and contact information so that each party knows how to get in touch with the other to communicate in a meaningful way about the progress of the project.
What Should A Contractor Do If A Customer Threatens To File A Complaint?
If a customer threatens to file a complaint on a contractor, the way in which the contractor responds is often based on very practical considerations as opposed to legal rights. For example, the legal analysis would indicate that if the contractor knows it has done nothing wrong, then if a complaint is filed it will be dismissed and they will not have to worry about it.
However, as a practical matter, contractors often want to avoid complaints at any cost. This is especially true of contractors who work directly with homeowners. Unfortunately, the reality is that the very existence of a complaint—even if it was not legitimate—can impact a contractor’s business, especially if it appears on websites like Angie’s List. If a consumer is searching for contractors online and sees that one contractor has zero complaints and another has had three complaints, they will not necessarily know if those three complaints were unfounded and ultimately dismissed. Instead, the consumer will likely just choose the contractor who has no complaints on their record.
I am certainly happy to talk to any contractor who is being threatened with a complaint. I will discuss what the legal ramifications could be and whether or not it is a fight they are likely to win. I will also be able to help them consider and talk through very real business considerations, such as what a business is likely to lose if a complaint gets filed. This will depend on how heavily a business relies on an online presence versus word of mouth. I have represented enough contractors over the years to have an understanding of the business realities. Even though my expertise is on the legal side, I certainly consider myself a legitimate business advisor when it comes to these sorts of decisions.
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