A construction contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties that includes the scope of a project, the pricing structure, and the time schedule to complete the work. It details the terms and conditions by which each party shall abide from the start of a project to its completion. A traditional agreement for a construction project is a lump sum contract, which provides a global price to complete a project, instead of bidding on individual items. This all-inclusive pricing arrangement includes labor costs, material costs, subcontractor fees, and also covers a contractor’s overhead and profit margin. It should have a provision for risk contingencies in the event of unforeseen circumstances that may impact on the cost of a project. A lump sum contract has multiple components and can be complicated. It is best to have an experienced contract attorney to negotiate and draft the agreement. The Boutty Law Firm, P.A., handles construction law matters of all complexities, using strategies and concepts designed to minimize risks to our clients. We can negotiate and draft contracts or resolve disputes, representing any of the parties involved in the construction process.
Pros and Cons of Lump Sum Contracts
There are advantages and disadvantages for a contractor or property owner to engage in a lump sum contract. For a contractor, there is a greater margin for profit, especially if the project is finished ahead of time and a built-in risk contingency is not utilized. A lump sum contract requires minimal accounting documentation for the property owner, which saves time and reduces overhead costs. For a property owner, it is easier to obtain financing for a lump sum contract, as there is a high degree of certainty regarding the total cost of the project. The property owner is not liable for excess expenditures, unless it is addressed in the initial contract or unless the property owner requests a change order. A lump sum contract is considered low risk for a property owner.
There are some disadvantages to having a lump sum contract, especially for a contractor, as there is a high risk for cost overruns, such as increased material costs that were not accounted for in the contract. The contractor may see the need for a change order during the construction phase, and the owner may reject payment on the change order, causing the contractor to be liable for the cost. For the property owner, there can be lien waiver issues. If the contractor withholds payment from a subcontractor, there can be a mechanic’s lien file against the property.
The Boutty Law Firm, P.A. Offers Insightful Representation
The Boutty Law Firm, P.A. works diligently to achieve favorable contract terms for their clients. We take into consideration project inflation costs, the economic impact of change orders, and allowances for unforeseen conditions that affect the progress of the project. We represent clients in residential and commercial disputes and claims through negotiation, mediation, or litigation. Attorney Shane Boutty is well versed in the application of construction law, as he is a state certified contractor and has owned several construction companies. The Boutty Law Firm, P.A. is located in Maitland, Florida and serves clients in Orange and Seminole Counties. We can be contacted at 407-537-0543. Call for an initial consultation to discuss your construction law matter.