Common Roadblocks in Commercial Construction
A successful construction contractor knows and understands that it’s not uncommon for complications to arise before, during, or after a project — especially when dealing with government contracts. Fortunately, successful contractors also know that an Orlando construction law firm can help navigate roadblocks as they arise. Before you can navigate these challenges, you first need to understand some of the more significant roadblocks that may arise.
The First Roadblock: Bid Process
Before you can begin work on a project, you first have to win the bid. If a bid for a project comes along, it is important to consider whether or not the bidding process is worth the potential profit. If you determine that the costs are too high when compared to your prospective profit, it may not be worth pursuing the project at all. An Orlando contractor attorney will discuss these factors and work with you through each step of the bid process.
If the cost to profit ratio is satisfactory, it is time to consider if your firm has the appropriate experience for the job. A jobsite may be in a location that is difficult or foreign to your employees. While it can be seen as an opportunity for your firm to gain valuable experience, like cost to ratio, you should be cautious of pursuing a project that may require a skill level for which you are not prepared.
Once you determine that the potential profit is worth the cost and that you have the appropriate experience and skill level, it is important to have an attorney review, or even help craft, your potential bid. With their legal expertise and understanding of the construction industry, he or she can ensure that your bid stands out among the others.
Unfortunately, when the bid process is complete, the project may be wrongfully awarded to another contractor. As the bid protest process can seem daunting and complex, it is strongly advised that when choosing from the Orlando construction law firms, you choose the one that is experienced and understands your needs the best. If you feel your bid was wrongfully denied, an attorney will discuss your rights and help you dispute the decision.
The Second Roadblock: Bureaucratic Red Tape
With the bid contract awarded, the next obstacle that you will have to overcome is all of the red tape that comes along with construction. Before any work can begin, the blueprints must be reviewed to verify that the drawings comply with any and all applicable building codes. The review process involves looking at the general structural design, electric layouts, plumbing, weight loads, and other details in the plan. After the “okay” is given from the reviewer, the blueprints can be approved for construction.
With approved plans, you may need to request the appropriate building forms if the owner has not done so. The building permit will be used by the inspector along with the plans on the job site to compare what’s drawn (and approved) to what’s actually being built. Inspections will be completed at key points throughout a project’s construction to make sure that the approved plans are being followed as drawn. A construction attorney will work with you throughout this process to make sure that your plans are clear and that all parties, including those issuing and inspecting permits, are on the same page.
The Third Roadblock: Payment Delays
Liens can be a powerful tool to ensure that your firm is paid for work done on a project. An Orlando contractor lawyer can best advise you as to when your firm should file a lien on a project. For example, for both prime contractors and subcontractors, the deadline to file a lien, per Florida Statute 713, is 90 days from the date of last furnishing labor or materials to the project. Subcontractors are required to submit a Notice to Owner (NTO) by the earliest of:
- 45 days after first providing labor or materials
- 45 days when work begins on making specialty materials
- Before the owner's final payment to the prime contractor under its contract.
An NTO must be submitted before any lien is filed. The deadline to enforce a lien is one year from the date on which it was filed. If the deadline to enforce your lien is coming, it’s imperative that you speak with someone at an Orlando construction law firm in order to avoid missing your deadline.
The Fourth Roadblock: Construction Defects
Construction defects are one of the most widely recognized causes of disputes and litigation in the construction industry. There are regular disagreements in regards to distinguishing what can be considered a construction defect because of the contrasting viewpoints and interests of the parties involved.
Many times a construction defect will be obvious and easily repaired. This is referred to as a patent defect and can be something as simple as inadequate building materials. Other times a construction defect may go unnoticed for weeks, months, or even years. For example, the soil beneath the foundation not being compacted properly would be considered a latent construction defect. Regardless whether it stems from a patent or latent defect, allegations of a defect may arise at any time after a project has been completed.
When another party accuses you or your firm of being responsible for a construction defect, you might be unsure of your legal rights or course of action. You may be entitled to review and repair the defect, or, in the case of a latent construction defect, you may not be responsible for the defect. A successful construction defect litigation claim will require testimony from experts who specialize in varying areas of construction as well as an experienced and dedicated Orlando contractor lawyer.
When looking into Orlando construction law firms to help you overcome construction roadblocks, consider speaking with one of the dedicated attorneys at Cotney Attorneys & Consultants who can represent you in any construction-related legal proceeding.
If you would like to speak with an Orlando contractor lawyer, please contact us today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.