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By Contractors For Contractors!
  Contractor's construction contracts pitfalls to avoid - page 8

 

Does signing a contract make you feel like you're stepping off of a cliff??

Contract Clauses to Watch Out For in Construction Contracts

5. Per plans and specs: (continued from page seven)

Here's a couple scenarios, both of which are true:

I. We bid a project to do the suspended grid ceilings, where the bathrooms were shown to be hard lids. We didn't include the bathrooms in our bid because we don't do hard lids, only the suspended ceilings.

We won the bid and the general contractor sent us the contract. While reading the contract, we came across the section that called out the latest revision of plans and specs.

The dates and revisions were different from the set of plans we had used to do our takeoff. Between the time we submitted our bid and the time we received the contract, someone had made some changes and the bathrooms were now to be suspended grid ceilings, instead of hard lids.

Because of the changes made, our price was going to have to increase. If we had not made note of the revision dates of the plans we had used to do our takeoff, we would have signed the contract as is, with our original bid amount and no extra to cover the extra work.

We contacted the general contractor and explained that the plans and specs listed in the contract were dated later than the plans and specs we had used to do our takeoff and bid. [It was the general contractor's error that caused us to not have the most current set of plans and specs.]

The general contractor tried to "bully" us into absorbing the cost for the additional work. Since it was their mistake, they wouldn't be able to recoup any additional monies from the Owner so they thought they'd get us to bear the burden.

We stuck to our guns and fortunately the general contractor 'saw the light', changed the contract price and we were on our way. If they had not approved the increase in the contract price, we wouldn't have done the job.

That could have cost them more than the additional monies they would owe us to do the job, so they finally agreed.

II. This scenario comes straight from "California Licensed Contractor", which is published by the California Contractors State License Board -

You win a contract only to find out, after signing that contract, that the plans and specs that you used to do your takeoff had been missing a page.

Even worse, the missing page causes your bid to have to go up $100,000 higher than it was.

Because you signed the contract before catching this error, you could be made to do the project at your, now known to be too low, original price. Can your company afford to swallow an error to the tune of $100,000? We can't, that's for sure! Talk about finding yourself in the middle of a legal battle, yikes!

Always insist that the general contractor list the date(s), revision(s) and page number(s) of the plans and specs, etc. right in your construction contracts (or as an addenda to the contract). This way you'll always have the opportunity to address these types of issues BEFORE you sign the contract.

Construction Contracts Continued on Page 9

 

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