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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Understanding Roles and Relationships of Construction Project Participants. Who Does What?

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 the Roles and Relationships of Construction Project Participants. This way, we can fully understand who really does what on a construction job site.

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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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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”

Top 5 Tips for New York Residential Contractors

Often times in discussions with contractors, I hear many of the same types of issues repeat themselves, and from the perspective of counsel, quite preventable. While not every potential problem on a project can be determined upfront, keeping the following 5 tips for contractors in mind might be helpful in preventing problems, improving business practices, and effectively managing risks.

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Is Residential Solar Energy Really Worth It?


As of 2016, there have been over 1.3 million solar panels installed on over 6,560,000 households in the United States. Arizona is the largest state utilizing residential solar energy. If solar energy seems to be so popular, why aren’t we all contributing to the environment? Just like any other construction job, solar panels and their installs have both pros and cons. These pros and cons can stretch from high costs to home damages, to even insurance premium increases. Whether you are a veteran homeowner or a first time home owner, is it really worth it to utilize residential solar energy?

Visit our Solar Dispute page to learn more about our services regarding Solar Energy.

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The Prompt Payment Act: Is It At Odds With Public Policy?

Is the prompt payment act at odds with public policy? In both general litigation and construction litigation, courts generally give parties great freedom to contract. Thus, New York’s policy is to enforce arbitration agreements in construction contracts.[i] Conversely, New York courts do not usually force parties into arbitration unless their contract expressly requires it.[ii]

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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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Understanding the Importance of Building Permits

What do you need a building permit for? This is one of the most common questions regarding construction. Building permits are both important and necessary and the failure to obtain one can cause major obstacles down the road.  Building permits are needed whenever a homeowner is altering or expanding their current home, installing a swimming pool, deck, shed or more.  Building permits are more important than you think, and here’s why!

 

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