An experienced construction law attorney understands both construction law and the construction process – how and when the work gets done, construction terminology, contracts and change orders, and building codes and local ordinances. Construction lawyers Robert Williamson and Paula Williams offer counsel in construction matters to homeowners and other real estate owners, contractors, and subcontractors.
We have real construction experience. Before practicing law, we worked in the construction industry as cost estimators and project managers. We have reviewed drawings and specifications, interacted with property owners and contractors, and walked jobsites. As a result of our construction backgrounds, we have the knowledge and experience to advise any client involved in any phase of the construction process – homeowner, commercial property owner, contractor, subcontractor, and material supplier.
Construction Law Services
Williamson & Williams construction lawyers represent property owners, contractors, and subcontractors throughout the entire construction process:
- Contract drafting
- Contract review and negotiation
- Payment issues under the Pennsylvania Contractor and Subcontractor Payment Act
- Homeowner and Contractor home improvement claims under the Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act
- Mechanics Liens
- Breach of contract – non-payment, failure to perform, delay – caused by the owner or the contractor
- Consumer fraud
Home Improvement Contracts
Pennsylvania law (Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, see Resources) requires that a contract for home improvements costing more than $500 contain specific provisions in order for the contract to be enforceable. These provisions include that the contract be in writing, be signed by all parties, and contain the entire agreement about the work to be done, payment terms, and start and completion dates.
A home improvement contractor who performs at least $5,000 worth of home improvements in a single year must be registered with the Attorney General’s Office. The Attorney General’s website contains a page where a consumer can verify a contractor’s registration status. https://hicsearch.attorneygeneral.gov/
Consumers should be aware that the use of and reliance upon home improvement contractor-referral companies from websites and television advertisements does not relieve the homeowner from investigating the business license, contractor licensing, insurance coverage, and experience of any home improvement contractor. These websites contain disclaimers, usually under the “Terms and Conditions,” which relieve the referrer from any responsibility or liability about the qualifications of contractors listed on their pages.
Homeowners planning a construction project should verify a contractor’s registration and have copies of the contractor’s insurance certificate and a building permit issued by their municipality’s local code enforcement department, if required by the particular job, before work begins.
Scope of Work in a Construction Project
Contractors and property owners may disagree about the scope and details of construction projects. A written contract for a construction job of any size must contain very clear and specific language about the scope of the project so all parties can understand and agree about the details.
The scope of a construction project can include:
- Start and completion dates
- Description of the work
- The cost of the job and a schedule of installment payments
- Down payment
- Materials to be furnished
- Instruction manuals and warranties to be provided to property owner upon the job’s completion
- Additional work
- Delays due to weather or material unavailability
- Insurance coverage by all parties
- Compliance with local code enforcement regulations, inspections, and building permits
- Evidence of an application to electric service provider in the case of new or modified electrical service, including installation of solar panels
Contact Media construction lawyers Williamson & Williams for help with your construction issues.