Are you planning the construction of a new home, or a home renovation, home improvement or home remodeling project, or the renovation of a store or other business premises? No doubt, you have heard horror stories from friends or relatives who have built or renovated a house, apartment or business property. If you have ever renovated or remodeled a house, co-op apartment, condominium, store, office or other business property, or contracted for a custom built house, you may have experienced some disappointments or unexpected surprises. Whether you are a novice or have some experience at construction or renovation projects, you should consider hiring an experienced lawyer to review and negotiate your contract, or at least to alert you to some of the potential risks to which the proposed contract may leave you exposed.
The legal fees spent at the initial stage may result in substantial savings in money, aggravation and disappointment in your construction or renovation project. If you sign the contract or proposal prepared by the general contractor, without competent legal representation, you may be at the mercy of your contractor. Your contractor is probably an expert in this business. Most likely, you are not.
Often deep misunderstandings arise between the customer and the contractor regarding the scope of the project that was contracted for. If this occurs, your contractor might refuse to perform what the contractor may identify as “additional” work, or might comply at substantial and unreasonable additional cost to you.
How can you bridge the gap between your expectations and your contractor=s intentions regarding the scope of the work and materials to which you are entitled for the agreed upon price? We strongly believe that the contract negotiation and drafting stage is the best time to clarify and resolve these issues.
Many types of problems may arise in a construction, renovation, or remodeling project. Of course, we cannot guarantee to prevent them all. But our aim is to minimize those problems. Here are a few examples:
•your contractor demands substantial advance payments
•your contractor demands interim payments, although you have already paid substantially more than the value of the work and materials provided
•the work is not being performed in conformity with the agreed specifications•your contractor uses materials that are inferior to what was promised
•your general contractor fails to coordinate and supervise the subcontractors’ work
•you understood that all materials and labor costs were included in the agreed price, but your contractor requests substantial additional payments for labor, materials, or both that the contractor says are not included in the job
•the scope of the work your contractor performs for the agreed upon price falls far short of your expectations
•your project goes “over budget” even though you didn=t add any “extras” to the agreed job
•required Building Department Work Permits are not obtained by the contractor.
•required Building Department inspections and approvals are not obtained by the contractor.
Some extra costs may be unavoidable, if during the course of construction, you decide to make changes in the plans, add to the scope of the project, or upgrade your original selections of materials. Also, unanticipated circumstances may result in extra work and extra costs. However, to the extent that you adhere to the original plans, most people do not want to be surprised with numerous additional costs that they did not expect. Although we can not guarantee that all your expectations will be fulfilled to your complete satisfaction, we strongly believe that a carefully drafted contract can help to avoid excessive or unanticipated additional costs, and minimize disagreements as to what is included in the agreed price.
The Law Offices of Michael W. Goldstein can assist you in negotiating and drafting contracts for construction, renovation or remodeling of your home or commercial premises. We can often anticipate many of the “land mines” that await the unwary. To minimize these risks, we encourage our clients to explain their expectations and the contractor=s oral promises, and then we thoroughly negotiate, review and/or draft your contract with the general contractor. In our opinion, the importance of experienced legal representation, especially before the contract is signed, cannot be over emphasized.
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However, we do represent clients who live outside of New York State, and are engaged in a New York State commercial or real estate contract, New York construction contract, New York home renovation contract, or NY commercial renovation contract, or who need legal services for New York real estate or NY commercial matters, or other legal matters that involve New York law, or a dispute that is or may be litigated in the courts of New York State, or disputes that may be arbitrated or mediated in a New York State Alternative Dispute Resolution forum.
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The New York commercial, real estate and litigation information, and NY business law and NY contract law information, or other New York legal information contained in this website is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor to create an attorney-client relationship or lawyer-client relationship. We recommend that you discuss your New York business law, commercial law, real estate law, contract negotiation, construction or renovation project contractor dispute, or commercial litigation with a NY business lawyer or New York commercial attorney promptly.
New York commercial lawyer, real estate lawyer and litigation attorney, as well as New York business and contracts lawyer, representing clients in New York City, Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, Rockland County and upstate New York.
Law Offices of Michael W. Goldstein is a New York commercial, business, and real estate transactions law firm, and New York commercial & real estate litigation law firm, also representing clients in NY construction, renovation and remodeling contracts and disputes.
Law Offices of Michael W. Goldstein