Congrats! You've survived your first week of summer weather in the Pacific Northwest. If you're like me though, 90+ temperatures mean you're actually spending more time inside, mooching off whoever is wise enough to pay for air conditioning. Though the winter is where construction defects become the most apparent, the hot summer months can be just as revealing.
It's generally safe to assume people intend to finish what they've started. When parties don't see a project to completion, however, contract law will usually provide remedies. But what if that nonperformance is the result of matters beyond the parties' control? In that case, construction contracts only operate to bail out a nonperforming party if they contain a "force majeure" or similar clause.
Things can change in an instant in the construction business. For example, a contractor may make a bid relying on a bid proposal from a subcontractor. Any number of circumstances can then cause that subcontractor to withdraw after the contractor won the project bid. What is that contractor left to do?
Last month we wrote about some of the potential liability construction businesses can avoid by hiring licensed contractors. We noted that it would be shortsighted for businesses to see hiring unlicensed contractors as a way to reduce project costs. But what happens when workers misrepresent their status as licensed contractors to persuade you to hire them? Unfortunately, some victims in Oregon are finding out the hard way.
Last week we wrote about some of the unique qualities of Oregon's Prompt Payment Statute that provides recourse for construction subcontractors and contractors when an owner or contractor fails to pay on time. Though it can be particularly harsh, the statute's penalties will not always apply all of the time.
If there's one thing every person in the construction business knows, it's that you can expect delays in completing any project. But those delays aren't always the result of a negligent contractor, or unexpected costs. Sometimes, an owner or lead contractor can create delays by significantly changing a project or by not providing the proper working conditions. Disruptions like these may entitle a contractor to be paid for additional costs incurred as a result of the disruption.
As we've recently highlighted, the Construction Contractors Board and Oregon OSHA seem to be ramping up enforcement of their respective authorities under Oregon law. Where rules contain mostly black-and-white requirements for owners and contractors, as well as harsh enforcement options, the CCB has found the perfect place to flex its authoritative muscles. One such area is the CCB's enforcement of Oregon's Prompt Pay Act.
We've previously discussed some of the costs that come with changing or cancelling construction contracts. Sometimes circumstances change that makes these costs unavoidable. But, where the contract need not be rewritten or cancelled, most of the costs resulting from construction contract disputes can be avoided. Though it sounds like a no-brainer, the best way to avoid these costs is to have carefully drafted contracts, written to anticipate circumstances that may change each party's position.
If you anticipate a dispute with your contractors, whether it's over work they've done or work they should have done better, you don't have to worry about a long, drawn out litigation process to voice those concerns. By filing a complaint with the Construction Contractors Board (CCB) dispute resolution services, you can sometimes sidestep litigation and avoid the tremendous costs that come with it.
Whether it's a ranch-style house in Camas or a colonial home in Irvington, we all envision building or buying our dream home one day. In 2013, it seems more and more people made those dreams a reality. Recent residential construction rates indicate new home construction went up nearly twenty percent from 2012, with the sale of new homes rising by almost nine percent. That's a lot of new homeowners.