Legal Tasks Before You Start a New Construction Project
At the beginning of every project, there are legal tasks that need to be done. Local, state, and federal regulations require that specific tasks be completed in order to proceed with the project. If you fail to do so, your project could be shut down or you could be fined. Every construction company must be aware of what needs to be done, which may change depending on where you are. If you want to ensure that you have completed all of the necessary legal requirements prior to beginning work on a new construction project, consult a Raleigh contractor lawyer.
Before any work begins, your company must acquire the correct permits for the work that you are going to do. Permits are designed to get construction companies to submit their plans for review. They also help create a public record of the work done on a building over time. Getting permits is generally easy. The process just requires filing the appropriate paperwork with the local permit office. There may be a fee associated as well, which varies based on what work is going to be done and the location of the project.
It’s essential that your company acquires the permits before work is done. Failing to do so could lead to very serious problems. For example, starting work on a project without a permit that ends up being denied could land your company in a bad place. You won’t be able to finish the project, but the work has already started. Situations like this create problems that could see a construction company possibly receiving license restrictions or losing its license entirely.
Developing contracts is also an early part of your construction project. There are many contracts in a construction project. Every subcontractor must be contracted, and there is always a contract between the owner and the construction company. While it may be tempting to reuse contracts or use generic contracts, it’s in your best interest to review and customize each contract accordingly.
Contracts make up the core legal framework of your construction projects. They define the project itself and the work you will do. Without a contract, you don’t have a formal and well-defined agreement about what your part in the project will be. This will lead to problems later when there are disputes over the work. You may do everything right, but you could end the project without getting paid and without a way of taking legal action to address the problem. It’s impossible to understate how important contracts are to the construction industry, which is why so many construction companies partner with a Raleigh contractor attorney to develop their contracts. Contract attorneys specialize in developing contracts that can protect you from a wide array of potential problems.
Before you even get a project, you may have to bid for it. Bidding can involve legal processes so that you can take a job. You’ll have to show that your company is the best option for the job, which includes setting up pricing and filling a selection of other requirements. Some companies want you to prove that you have the legal systems in place to handle a project. That means proving that you are OSHA-compliant, licensed, insured, and have met other prerequisites. Having legal help on your team may make this process a bit easier since it may require collecting legal documentation.
Bidding can also involve legal processes when you submit specific types of bids. Estimates, for example, can be legally binding if the client accepts the estimate. While a construction company does not have to stick to the estimate exactly, it does set the baseline for what the project should cost. If your bill is far over the estimated price, you may find yourself in legal action because of the difference in price.
Another process that must happen early in the project is gaining site control. Having site control means that you have acquired the location for the project and you have the legal authority to work on it. This is one of the earliest stages in a construction project since you cannot work on a site that you do not control. Likewise, you may not have access to funds until you have site control since lenders will not see a project as viable until you have taken that first step.
Gaining site control requires a legal process that includes some type of legally binding agreement. It will be used to show that you are gaining access to the land either through sale or lease so that you can work on it. Your company will likely need help from a Raleigh construction attorney to get through this process.
Similar to gaining site control, securing financing requires legal processes. Construction companies often need to secure an outside source of financing to start projects, especially larger projects. Working with banks and construction lenders will involve contracts. To avoid serious problems in this process, you may need a combination of strong accounting, negotiation, and legal expertise. That way, you can set up an agreement for the funding that will not put your company in a terrible position if something goes wrong.
Legal processes are a big part of the construction industry. That is why many construction companies work with construction lawyers to protect themselves. If you have questions about the legal processes that go into starting a construction project, contact a Raleigh contractor lawyer from Cotney Attorneys & Consultants.
If you would like to speak with a Raleigh contractor lawyer, please contact us today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.