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 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.
Whether dealing with a residential or commercial property sale, there is likely an endless contract full of terms we hardly understand. Beyond just deciphering what the words themselves mean, it can be equally difficult to interpret their impact on the transaction at hand. This problem is compounded by the fact that certain words, when included in property sales contracts, can trigger or deactivate unwritten terms otherwise provided by law.
Sometimes the hardest part of a construction planning project is finding a way to stay under budget. One way businesses accomplish that is by hiring contractors who give the lowest bids for a particular job. Sometimes, however, these contractors aren't actually licensed. If you're planning a construction project, you should contact a construction law attorney who can help you avoid unnecessary exposure to liability, like that which comes with hiring an unlicensed contractor.
Though we don't normally plan to, any number of factors can lead us to cancel construction contracts. This is especially true in the construction context, where even a rainy day can cause us to halt or abandon construction entirely. If construction contracts are not carefully considered before execution, these cancellations can be extremely costly.