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Ramsey Legal Blog

What bonds are used in the construction industry?

Most contractors working on public projects, and even some private projects, are familiar with surety bonds. This contract is between the obligee, or the recipient of the obligation; the principal party, who will pay for the contracted obligation; and the surety. It is a promise by the surety to pay the obligee if the principal fails to meet their obligation.

But in the construction industry, there are other bonds that may be required in a contract. Below are three of the less common bonds and how they work.

Working with a construction lawyer on school projects

As the new school year begins and the students’ future needs are assessed, it may seem like the right time to consider a remodel or construction project. Districts may be more comfortable working with professionals who understand their unique needs in education.

While retaining a law firm that understands school issues can help with those legal needs, hiring an attorney that can comprehend the niche nature of construction law has its benefits. A new school building is not likely to be truant, but it will need to meet certain codes and standards.

How does construction arbitration work?

Contract disputes can be a headache, and it’s not why you got into construction in the first place. You entered this industry to do the work and do it well.

Nonetheless, a contract dispute is likely to come up at some point or another. In the construction industry, many of these contracts include a clause which mandates arbitration as the sold method for construction dispute resolution. If you have to arbitrate or want to consider this route, how does it work?

The role of retainage in a construction contract

At our law firm, we represent parties to a variety of construction contracts. Our clients include contractors, owners, subcontractors, construction companies, developers, suppliers, architects, engineers, lenders and others. We provide many services vis-à-vis construction contracts, including negotiation, drafting and review of contract provisions. 

One important term of a construction contract is retainage, which refers to a percentage of the contract price that the parties agree may be withheld from payment to the contractor until the project is complete. Typically, the retainage is imposed on the general contractor, which in turn imposes the same term on its subs.

Green construction in an age of deregulation

Here at the Law Offices of Stephen Bialkowski LLC, we represent New York and New Jersey developers, land and building owners, contractors, architects and similar parties in their efforts to develop, build or renovate private, public, residential and commercial buildings with environmental concerns in mind. Some aspire to complete projects that achieve special green construction certifications like LEED, Energy Star, National Green Building Standard, WELL Building Standard and others. 

It is important to get a construction law attorney involved early in the process to help analyze options and set goals as well as to assist with compliance with certification requirements and with federal, state and local environmental, zoning and building regulations and laws.

Construction liens: a common source of dispute

Liens are often a source of confusion (and dispute) in the construction industry. In general terms, a lien is an encumbrance on a property incurred for a debt. However, there are many kinds of liens, from assessment liens imposed on property owners by municipalities to voluntary liens established by contract with a debtor.

Two types of liens are frequently the source of dispute in construction litigation: judgment liens and mechanic's liens.

Why use a mechanics/construction lien?

Collateral is a principle concept in many loans. The idea is that the lender can seek compensation for their investment if the borrower doesn’t deliver on their promise to repay the debt. It legally connects a loan to a piece of property. For example, a prospective business owner might use a car or home as collateral on startup loan. If they don’t pay their loan back, their car or home is them sold to pay off the debt.

A construction lien, also called a mechanics lien, follows the same idea. It’s a legal document that says if a project isn’t paid for, then your business can recoup its investment by taking possession of the property. It’s used in many construction cases from replacing windows in a home to the construction of an entirely new building.

Common construction-site injuries and how to avoid them

As the city that never sleeps, New York construction seems to boom year-round. Meanwhile, its neighbor state of New Jersey has new projects popping up all the time.

Both states are seeing growth in construction, which is great for developers. Unfortunately, more construction means more chances for worker injuries.

What are the benefits of construction mediation?

There are many reasons New York and New Jersey construction companies may want to avoid litigation when disputes arise. Court battles can be time-consuming, costly and damaging to business relationships. How can such battles be avoided? One option that many companies find helpful is mediation.

Three steps for preventing scaffolding injuries

As spring has taken hold in New Jersey, the construction industry is poised to have another profitable year. The residential housing market remains strong, and the commercial construction market mirrors the success of the nation's economy. Given the increasing number of construction projects, there may be a greater risk of accidents as developers and investors look to finish buildings and reap the financial benefits.  

With all the dangers that workers can encounter on construction sites, falls are still the primary way for workers to be injured. In fact, a fall from just six feet above ground can lead to serious injuries. For every foot higher that a worker is in the air, the greater the chance for a serious (or fatal).