Construction Plans and Architectural Designs

It’s one thing to say what you want in your construction project, but it is another thing to properly document your dream design on paper in the form of legitimate construction plans. Within this article, you will have a better understanding of what is included in detailed construction plans, as well as the understanding of common symbols used in the architectural industry. Whether you are a project owner or contractor, always remember your construction drawings take precedence over performance specifications in the state of New York.

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Standards of Care Within A Construction Agreement: When You No Longer Trust Your Fiduciary.

When it comes to a complex construction agreement, it’s typical practice to include specific terms within the contract relating to Trust and Confidence, and Fiduciary duties. Normally, a Fiduciary takes action as a trustee within the contract or agreement and are chosen to act on behalf of their client and make decisions for them when needed. With that said, what happens if you can no longer trust your trustee?

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Commissioner’s Regulations in Architecture

Though an architect is responsible for designs and drawings, they also play a part in structural safety. Whether building single-family homes or a large corporate building, a professional in the architectural industry must have the proper education and experience to practice. This article about the commissioner’s regulations in architecture was presented by John Caravella during the “Design Professionals in New York” speaking engagement produced by HalfMoon Seminars.

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Hiring a Contractor: Top 3 Things Every Homeowner Needs To Verify

Time and time again, homeowners hire fraudulent contractors without knowing so. There are many instances where the homeowner will hire a contractor without really knowing what they’re all about. Usually out of excitement, or desperation to complete unfinished work, homeowners will too often hire their contractor based off an estimate, without digging deeper as to the insurance status or legitimacy of the contractor’s business. With that said, what are the top 3 things every homeowner needs to verify before hiring a contractor and signing the contract? Continue reading “Hiring a Contractor: Top 3 Things Every Homeowner Needs To Verify”

Contract Terminology and Interpretation

Construction contracts could be challenging and difficult to read but learning the basic terms can really make a difference. On October 17th, John Caravella was invited to speak at the AIA Contract Document Workshop where he was able to share his knowledge about Construction Contract Interpretation and Fundamentals. In this specific article, we share simplified definitions of commonly used words within a construction agreement as well as exploring the law of Construction Contract Interpretation.

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Strings of a Marionette Puppet

Like the strings of a marionette puppet, after the completion of a New York construction project, there are various legal theories that serve as ties between the builder and the owner. For the builder, the sooner these lingering ties can be removed the less exposure they face for claims of defects. For the owners, the longer they are able to establish these connections, the longer they may have legal recourse against the builder for defects.

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What is a Mechanics Lien, and How Can It Affect Your Construction Experience?

We all know what a lien is. Depending on which side of the claim you’re on, a lien could be a good thing or a bad thing. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, the true definition of a lien is “a claim, encumbrance, or charge on property for payment of some debt, obligation or duty”. So, how is a Mechanics Lien any different?

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Is It Worth It To Elevate Your Home?


One of the most common causes of home elevation is extreme weathering and flooding. In general, there are two options when deciding to elevate your home. The homeowner can physically lift the home, building a new foundation at the bottom, or leaving the home as is, but just building a “livable space” upper level, alternatively converting the ground level to a complete closure.

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Architectural Hierarchy 101

When you are working on a renovation project or building a home from the ground up, it is not just one person pulling the strings and leading the operation, learn the architectural hierarchy.  Behind every architectural firm is a small army of individuals with specific roles and responsibilities to make your dream a reality. Within this article, we will share the chain of command within an architectural firm. To learn what you should be looking for when hiring such architects, please review our blog posting titled “Considerations When Hiring an Architect” below.

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Protecting Yourself from Usury and Racketeering in Construction

Whenever we hear the terms Usury and Racketeering, we think of two things, organized crime, and the RICO Act. But did you know that these two terms are very common within the New York Construction industry? Whether you are a homeowner, a contractor or a commercial business owner, usury and racketeering come in many different shapes and sizes. What are the types of Construction Usury, and how can we protect ourselves?

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