Construction law is the body of law that governs the industry of construction. This includes building contracts, bonds, sureties, construction and builders' liens, tendering, and construction claims. Construction law affects everyone that works in the construction industry including financial institutions, architects, builders, engineers, and planners. Construction law uses the same legal principles of general law and includes security of payment and building regulations as well as contract selection, subcontract issues, causes of action, and liability that arises in contract, negligence and other grounds. Construction law also includes insurance and performance security and dispute resolution and avoidance.
Construction law is mandated on a federal basis but each individual state within the United States also have their own version of construction laws. The majority of problems that arise in the construction world are usually handled on the state level. A construction project usually involves hundreds of thousands of dollars that switch hands from the client to the contractor. When hiring a construction company to build a house, an office building, or a school, everyone wants to make sure that they are going to get what they pay for and not a shoddy job. Some states do require contractors to provide their clients with a warranty regarding their services but not all states require warranties. Most state governments do advise that people request a contractor to include a warranty in the written contract because cracks, chips, and other defects are discovered within one year of the project's completion.
Not all contractors will give their customers a warranty because they feel that it will tarnish their reputation as a solid business. Also, if some contractors do provide a warranty they will provide a limited warranty. If anyone wants to obtain a warranty from their builder they can check in with their state's Attorney General or their state's Contractors License Board. Both of these agencies can inform the customer as to what the state laws are regarding warranties.
Cases in the construction world have popped up and continue to do so regarding uncompleted work. Some contractors will sign a contract with a customer, will begin to do the construction work, and then will stop performing the work. Usually these companies ask for the entire fee up front or a large percentage of the fee up front so that they can do little work and then walk away from the job with a large profit. This is a breach of the contract and the company can be sued in a local or federal court for the breach of contract. The plaintiff can sue for the money lost in the transaction as well as money lost from having to live in a hotel for a period of time. Usually, in real estate, sellers agree to a certain date to leave their residence and let the new owners move in. If their new home is not completed on time they might have to shell out money to live in a hotel. This money can be asked for in damages during a lawsuit against the contractor.
Construction law also includes the negligence of a contractor. This means that a contractor might have installed a faulty piece of equipment when renovating a building or when constructing a new one. The contractor might also be using materials that are not suitable for the environment they are constructing property in, which could lead to damage to the building further on down the road. Any negligence by a contractor falls under construction law and can bring about a lawsuit against the contractor. Some contractor negligence can cause serious bodily injury to construction workers on the job site, to people working or living in the building they constructed, or even death. Construction law protects not only the clients and customers of contractors but also the contractors and the construction workers. Anyone that works in the construction industry is protected by construction law or has to follow construction law in the jurisdiction they are working within.
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