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3 clauses to include in a well-written construction contract

The construction contract will direct nearly every step you take in your upcoming construction project.

Your well-written contract must clearly spell out everything from the work and costs involved to the critical, “red flag” issues essential to project success. Here are three important clauses to include.

1. Workmanlike manner

Not only is a phrase such as “All work shall be performed in a workmanlike manner” important for your relationship with the property owner, but it is also important if you should have to appear in court.

2. Manufacturer’s instructions

Almost all manufacturers of construction products and materials provide instructions. They have strict standards since they want their products installed correctly. Include in your agreement that you will install all materials and products according to construction industry standards and the manufacturers’ written instructions.

3. Construction industry standards

Explain the phrase “construction industry standards” in the contract for your project. The National Association of Homebuilders publishes minimum standards. However, other organizations within the building industry such as trade associations provide more detailed standards. You will find guidelines for many building materials such as drywall, concrete, wood siding and roofing. Be sure to include your intent to adhere to widely accepted building standards when you draft your construction contract.

Attention to detail

While construction agreements were once sealed with a handshake, the particulars of a construction project today must be set down in writing—and good writing, at that. Disputes are common in the building industry. With legal guidance, the well-written contract for your new project will present the attention to detail that will save you time, money, misunderstandings, and, potentially, the need for litigation.