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Construction Law

Home Contractor vs. Homeowner Home Contractor vs. Homeowner

Information about how to prevent and address construction disputes that is helpful to both lawyers and consumers.
By Andrea Goldman, Esq.

Post Frequency: 0.7/day

Last Entry: September 25, 2014 at 17:20:01

Recent Entries: 88

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Why You Need a Good Renovation Contract

Posted on March 03, 2009


Home Owner/Contractor Patterns That Raise Red Flags

Posted on February 15, 2009
One of the advantages of having handled numerous home contractor/homeowner disputes is that I have a global view of the problems that arise. Homeowners and contractors are frequently shocked when something goes wrong during a renovation project, but if they are made aware of the "signs," the problems may be preventable...


BAGB Economic Forecast Dinner

Posted on January 30, 2009
Last night I attended the Builders Association of Greater Boston economic forecast dinner. The speakers were excellent, and they provided some encouraging news for Massachusetts and the nation. To summarize, their view is that the first quarter of 2009 is going to be the worst, and then things are going to gradually get better...


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A Good Time to Start a Home Renovation

Posted on January 29, 2009
I imagine that some of you will say it's crazy to start a home renovation project in this economy. However, there are many reasons to consider doing one now, and here are a few:1. Contractors are no longer busy. The days are gone when contractors could afford to disappear from your project because they were working on others...


Budgeting for a Home Renovation Project

Posted on January 25, 2009
Like most construction lawyers, I am spending a lot of time thinking about the economy and how to safeguard my practice in these tough times. It occurred to me that now, more than ever, homeowners need to be realistic when planning a home improvement project...


Budgeting for a Home Renovation Project

Posted on January 24, 2009
Like most construction lawyers, I am spending a lot of time thinking about the economy and how to safeguard my practice in these tough times. It occurred to me that now, more than ever, homeowners need to be realistic when planning a home improvement project...


Insurance and Construction Projects

Posted on January 23, 2009
I have been wanting to post about insurance policies and construction projects for quite some time, as there is a great deal of confusion about what kinds of policies are necessary and which items are covered.Mark Tarpey of Tarpey Insurance Group provided me with this guest posting:For New Construction, the Purchase and Sales Agreement must be reviewed to determine who is providing the insurance during the course of construction...


Contractors-What to do in a Bad Economy

Posted on December 13, 2008
The construction industry is in a terrible state right now, and I know many contractors who are suffering the worst downturn in work in their careers. Now, more than ever, contractors need to protect themselves when they undertake projects and make sure they are operating their businesses correctly...


Warranties When the Contractor Abandons the Job

Posted on December 02, 2008
About a month ago, a woman walked into my office, and she said that her contractor told her that he would not honor his warranty unless she gave him a good reference. It seems like, of late, that homeowners are extremely concerned about the warranties provided by their contractors...


When the Contractor Files for Bankruptcy

Posted on December 02, 2008
As the economy has gotten worse, I receive phone calls from homeowners asking: what do I do if my contractor files for bankruptcy? First, the disclaimer. I am not a bankruptcy lawyer. The bankruptcy law changed within the last few years, and lawyers are required to issue a number of disclaimers before offering bankruptcy advice...


Building Confidence, LLC

Posted on November 17, 2008
I stated when I started this blog that I would have been able to help prevent many of the problems that contractors and homeowners experience when going through a construction project. I am now making my services available to support the goal of having a stress-free process...


I Want to Sue my Builder/Contractor/the Homeowner

Posted on November 11, 2008
One of the interesting aspects of writing this blog is I get to see the keywords that people use to find me. My audience frequently searches the title above to land at my blog. I have posted previously ("Think Before You Sue"), but I think it is tremendously important in the current economy to re-visit this issue...


Thoughts on Green Building

Posted on November 01, 2008
Although the concept of Green Construction has been around for quite some time, there seems to have been more discussion recently about using the technology to reduce heating costs, benefit the environment and as a marketing angle. I belong to a builder's association, and there have been more courses offered in green construction and LEEDS certification...


Getting Rid of a Mechanic's Lien

Posted on September 13, 2008
Before I say anything, I want to remind homeowners that mechanic's lien law is state specific. I only know how they work in Massachusetts. That said, there are usually similarities between states, and this will give you some idea of how the process works...


When Your Contractor is a Bully

Posted on August 21, 2008
Before I start this post, I want to remind my readers that I represent both contractors and homeowners and have seen good and bad on both sides. I can certainly write the next post about nightmare homeowners, but this one focuses on a phenomenon that I have seen recently...


AAA vs. Home Improvement Contractor Arbitration Program

Posted on July 31, 2008
At one point in time, I would guess that if a contract contained an arbitration clause, it most likely would have included an agreement to use the American Arbitration Association (AAA) for the arbitration itself. Nowadays, AAA has many competitors, but it is still a very popular option for construction contracts...


The Building Permit and the Homeowner

Posted on July 10, 2008
I cringe when I hear that a homeowner has pulled a building permit. Homeowners do not consider the responsiblity that goes along with pulling the permit and do not really think things through before doing so.Here's the good news-the average homeowner who pulls his own permit does not have to have a Home Improvement Contractor or Construction Supervisor license if he satisfies the following requirements:"Exception: Any Home Owner performing work for which a building permit is required shall be exempt from the licensing provisions of 780 CMR 108...


The Strength of a Mechanic's Lien

Posted on June 12, 2008
One of my readers asked a very good question in response to a recent blog post. Is the mechanic's lien a stronger item in Massachusetts? The answer to that question is yes, a mechanic's lien is a very effective means for a contractor to put someone on notice of his claim...


When the Subcontractor Does Not Get Paid

Posted on May 29, 2008
There is a great deal of confusion about what to do when a contractor does not pay the subcontractor. The homeowner wonders if he is liable when subcontractors start knocking on his door, saying they are still owed money. Subcontractors are not sure about their rights either...


Maintaining Control During a Home Renovation Project

Posted on May 09, 2008
Perhaps the hardest part of dealing with a home renovation project for a homeowner is giving up control of his home. The homeowner has to really have faith in the contractor because she is turning her life upside down and allowing someone else to control her environment...


The Contractor-Discussing Increases in Price

Posted on May 02, 2008
I have noticed a trend recently in contractor-homeowner disputes. It is a problem that usually occurs when contractors do not follow my cardinal rule:ALL CHANGE ORDERS MUST BE IN WRITING AND SIGNED OFF ON BY BOTH THE HOMEOWNER AND THE CONTRACTOR. THE CHANGE ORDER SHOULD SPELL OUT THE INCREASE OR DECREASE IN PRICE AND ALSO STATE WHETHER THE DATE OF SUBSTANTIAL COMPLETION WILL CHANGE AS A RESULT OF THE CHANGE ORDER...


Contractor Show on YouTube

Posted on April 22, 2008
I recently made my YouTube debut when I was interviewed by The Contractor Show in Florida. I gave advice to contractors about how to prevent disputes during renovation projects.Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsHpXmFkS1U


Yes, You Really Have to Read the Construction Contract

Posted on April 07, 2008
One day I was having lunch with a colleague who is an in-house counsel and he told me that someone asked him, "Do you really read everything that's written in those contracts?" At that point, we both started to laugh because the answer is yes, we really do read every word...


The Payment Schedule

Posted on April 04, 2008
Most construction contracts include a schedule for payments that looks something like this:33% on signing33% at completion of the rough inspection33% upon substantial completion.Although this would appear straightforward, in many cases it is not, and both parties need to put more thought into the payment schedule...


PREPARE FOR A SAFE SPRING CONSTRUCTION SEASON

Posted on March 27, 2008
Another post from Jerry Solomon:The new 2008 construction season is just weeks away. As you plan and prepare for your new jobs think about the safety of your workers and subcontractors. Make sure everyone knows how to do their work safely and is aware of the safety rules that apply to residential construction...


Preparing Yourself for a Home Renovation Project

Posted on March 20, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, I gave a presentation along with a home contractor to a group of professionals. The contractor, Paul Monaco, brought up a number of terrific points about the effect that a home renovation project has on one's household. So, in no specific order:1...


Calling in the House Therapist

Posted on March 16, 2008
The New York Times featured an article recently about consultants who help homeowners work through renovation projects. Here's the link:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/13/garden/13coach.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=renovation+consultant&st=nyt&oref=slogin


The Reality of Legal Fees

Posted on February 24, 2008
A couple of weeks ago I was having lunch with another attorney, and I was lamenting about the fact that clients have such a difficult time understanding legal fees. The public tends to think that all lawyers set out to take advantage of their clients and charge inordinately high hourly rates without justification...


Anatomy of a Claim Against a Homeowner

Posted on February 19, 2008
The other day I posted on the usual procedure for bringing a claim against a contractor. Today I am focusing on what the contractor should do when bringing a claim against a homeowner. Some of these steps specifically apply to Massachusetts law.1. Make sure you have a good contract that is in compliance with your state law...


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