Author: John A. Goodman, Esq.
Buy Book: Amazon
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people undertake home renovation projects ranging from a few thousand to millions of dollars. Some will have lawyers review contracts for the work and others will wish they had.
This Real Life Legal™ guide, written by an attorney with over twenty years’ experience counseling clients on home renovation projects, provides an insider’s take on how to make these projects run smoothly. Learn why it’s important to have contracts with your architect and contractor, and what they should provide to keep projects on track and costs within budget.
While not every project needs a lawyer, as you navigate dealings with your lender, an architect, a general contractor, and government agencies that rule on land-use and zoning matters, an attorney’s input may be a good idea. If you follow the suggestions in this book, there’s no doubt that you’ll reduce the stress that occurs when your home in upheaval.
State laws will impact your project, and hidden costs, change orders and liens may affect your ability to sell your property.
We cover that all here. And make it easy to understand.
Real Life Legal™ wants you to be prepared.
John A. Goodman is an attorney specializing in commercial real estate, construction law and general contract law. He is also a certified mediator and licensed to practice law in New York.
What This Book’s About
Parties Involved in a Home Renovation Project
Subcontractors and Suppliers
Do I Need a Lawyer?
The Right Attorney Can Save You Money
When You Don’t Need an Attorney
Home Renovation Basics
State Law Provisions
Payments to Your Contractor
How Long Will Construction Take?
Who is Driving the Bus?
What If the Architect or Contractor Fails to Perform?
Can You Terminate a Contract?
What Municipal Regulations Govern the Project?
What Happens If There Is a Dispute?
Legal Agreements in Home Renovations
Standard Form Contracts
Who Prepares the Contract?
Nail Down the Terms
State Law Applies
Construction Loans May Require Lender Sign-Off
The Architect’s Agreement
Schematic Design Phase
Design Development Phase
Construction Documents Phase
Bidding and Negotiation Phase
When to Pay Your Architect
Additional Architectural Services
Architectural Change Orders
Who Owns the Architectural Plans?
Indemnity and Insurance
Right to Terminate Your Architect’s Services
Types of Construction Contracts
Cost-Plus, with Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP)
Typical Provisions in a Construction Contract
Scope of Work
Time for Completion of Work
Applications for Payment
Withholding Payment until Substantial Completion (a.k.a. Retainage)
Final Contract Payments
Protecting Against Hefty Change Orders
Protecting Against Concealed Conditions
Right to Terminate
Protecting Against Common Problems in Home Renovations
Discrepancies in Bid vs. Build Plans
Check for Environmental Issues at the Outset
Monitor the Work
Have an “End Date” in the Contract
Do Your Due Diligence: Get Meaningful References
Get a Scope of Work with Your Estimate
About the Author
Real Life Legal™