Orlando Construction Lawyer – Experienced In All Facets of Florida Construction Law

Large corporations, small businesses, and individuals often need the help of a construction lawyer at some point during a building project. Construction law attorneys provide guidance and help resolve problems at every stage of a construction project. Having an attorney working with you can help you keep a project on track, avoid disputes, and protect your rights and interests when problems arise.

What Does a Construction Lawyer Do?

Every construction project is made up of several different phases. During each phase of a project a construction attorney provides different services and advantages. But, no matter what stage of a project you are at, a construction attorney always has the same goal, to zealously represent you and protect your interests. This includes everything from making sure you get the high quality work you contracted for from the general contractor to making sure you are treated fairly by any government agencies overseeing the permitting process.

Planning/Pre-Construction Phase

In any construction project before the first shovel of dirt is turned over, a significant amount of work has gone into the planning of the project. A construction attorney can help make sure this phase of the project goes smoothly. Often contract disputes and other problems can be avoided by performing due diligence checks in the planning phase of a project.

Some specific things a construction lawyer does during the part of the project include:

  • Overseeing the securing of any permits
  • Negotiating and drafting contracts with different vendors and contractors
  • Reviewing existing contracts to ensure compliance
  • Working to resolve any disputes
Work with a construction lawyer early in the planning phase of your project.

Working with a construction lawyer that is experienced with Florida construction law during the planning phase of a construction project will help avoid potential future misunderstandings and disputes.

During Construction

Even after the physical construction work is underway, construction law attorneys still have a role to play in the project. During the course of a construction project a lawyer may be needed to:

  • Resolve disputes with contractors
  • Hold vendors accountable for late, or inadequate delivery
  • Deal with regulatory issues such as challenges to permits

Post-Construction

Most of the time, after a project is completed everyone is able to relax and celebrate. However, sometimes it is only after the physical work of a project has been finished that major problems become obvious. Some of the problems construction lawyers deal with during the post- construction phase of a project include:

  • Pursuing damages for shoddy work or defective materials
  • Resolving contract disputes with contractors and vendors
  • Handling problems with final inspections or other regulatory problems

When Should I Hire a Construction Lawyer?

One of the most frequent questions people and businesses ask about construction law is: when should I hire a construction lawyer?

While every situation is unique, the earlier you involve a lawyer in the process the more likely you will be able to resolve any issues before the situation becomes more complicated.

The larger the project and the more important its successful completion is to your family or business, the sooner you should involve a construction lawyer. Having an attorney working with you during the early planning stages will prevent many issues and problems. Often having a construction lawyer negotiate and draft your contracts early on will help make the rest of the project smoother. It will also give you the peace of mind knowing that your legal interests are protected.

When it is clear that you and your contractor have a significant dispute, getting a construction attorney involved early on can help resolve the impasse faster, and keep your project on track.

If at any point during a project you have reason to suspect that the work being done is substandard or you have concerns about the materials being used, you should contact a construction lawyer right away for advice on the best way to proceed. It is almost always faster and less expensive to deal with a construction issue sooner rather than later.

Image of large multi-family construction project.

The larger the construction project, the more likely there will be disputes. The earlier you involve an attorney, the less likely a significant dispute will arise and the more likely the project will stay on track and on time.

Drafting and Negotiating a Construction Contract

One key area that you should always seek legal advice on is the drafting and negotiating of contracts. A written contract sets out all of your legal responsibilities and the legal responsibilities of your contractor. Any future disputes will be resolved according to the language of the contract. It is essential that you have an experienced contract attorney making sure that your rights are protected.

There have been contract cases where just a single coma has made a difference of millions of dollars. When it comes to your project, you want to make sure you have the experience and expertise of a construction lawyer on your side protecting your interests.

During the course of any project, accidents will happen. Many times disputes over who is responsible for paying for the consequences of an accident will significantly delay a construction project. A properly drafted contract can avoid these types of disputes by specifying requirements for indemnification and insurance.

A construction contract is filled with terms of art. These are phrases that have specific meanings in the context of the construction industry. Some of these phrases often mean something much different from the way they are used in everyday language.

Having construction contracts that are drafted properly is the best way to avoid disputes, and the best way to make sure you prevail in the event of a future dispute.

Insurance and Bonding Requirements

Florida law has specific insurance and bonding requirements that construction companies must meet. These requirements vary from city to city. Part of the due diligence process before contracting with a construction company is ensuring they are sufficiently bonded and carry the proper insurance with sufficient amounts of coverage.

Bonding

A construction bond is a financial instrument that a construction company purchases to cover financial losses to the client should the company fail to comply with any building codes or fails to correct a construction defect. Construction bonds are similar to insurance, but with some critical differences.

Construction bonds are purchased with a built in time constraint. If a bond has expired, no one will be able to make a claim against the bond. You may still have the right to pursue damages against the construction company, but the company may not have enough assets to pay off your claim.

It is in your best interest to make sure any contractors are not only sufficiently bonded to meet local requirements, but are sufficiently bonded to pay for any issues from your specific project. This may require negotiating with the contractor to purchase an additional bond.

Insurance

Even a small construction project involves a lot of different workers, equipment, and heavy machinery. Injuries and accidents are common occurrences on job sites. Who pays for the damages caused by these accidents? As the owner of the property unless you have made specific provisions otherwise, you may be ultimately responsible for paying out on claims made as a result of accidents on the job site.

In order to protect yourself, the construction contract should have an indemnity clause making the contract responsible for any damages (an indemnity clause) and requiring the contractor to carry insurance policies.

At a minimum, the construction contract should make clear that the following types of insurance policies be purchased:

  • Worker’s compensation
  • Liability
  • Property
  • Auto
  • Completed operations

Policy limits and other details about the policies and issuers should be discussed in the contract.

Image of a construction lawyer and a house precariously balanced on a stack of wood blocks.

Working with a knowledgeable and experienced Orlando construction lawyer will help you keep a project on track, avoid disputes, and protect your interests.

How We Can Help

Disputes in the construction industry are very common. Despite everyone’s best efforts they can arise during any phase of a construction project. Depending on the type of dispute, a significant amount of time can be spent resolving the issue. Whether you are a homeowner, contractor, or subcontractor delays cost money. Significant delays could be disastrous for a project.

Are you involved in a construction dispute? The Attorneys at Walsh Banks Law have represented owners, construction managers, general contractors, sub –contractors, and material suppliers at all phases of the construction process; from pre-construction contract negotiations, and construction phase dispute to post construction litigation.

Construction projects come with their own inherent risks. Having an knowledgeable experienced attorney to advise you and make sure you are fully aware and understand all project documentation will help mitigate those risks.

  • Construction Contract Review, Drafting and Negotiation
  • Subcontractor Documents
  • Bid Documents
  • RFPs and RFQs
  • Notice to Owner
  • Notice of Non-Payment
  • Construction Liens
  • Materialmen’s liens
  • Notice of Contest
  • Claims Prevention

No matter the size of construction project they are complex involving a lot of different vendors, tradespeople, suppliers, and contractors. With so many different people involved in the project invariable there will be a dispute. Avoiding disputes is often crucial to the success of the project. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, a dispute simply can’t be resolved we have experience representing clients litigate simple and complex construction disputes.

  • Lien Forclosures
  • Lien Disputes
  • Scope of work disputes
  • Construction Defect Litigation
  • New Construction Deficiencies
  • Warranty Claims
  • Contractor, Subcontractor and Supplier Defaults
  • Subcontractor and Supplier Disputes
  • Construction Delays and Damages
  • Property Damage Claims

You need skilled representation experienced in Florida construction law and litigation to effectively resolve construction related legal issues in a timely manner.

Downtown Orlando Office

790 N. Orange Ave
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 259-2426
Toll Free: (866) 801-2636
Fax: (407) 391-3626

Metrowest Orlando Office

7065 Westpointe Blvd., Ste 311
Orlando, FL 32825
Email: contact@walshbanks.com

About

Walsh Banks Law is a boutique law firm located in Orlando, Florida. We specialize in business law, real estate law and commercial litigation.