When it comes to the subject of residential construction in Colorado and nationally (both single-dwelling units and multi-family projects), many articles unquestionably stress the concerns and legal rights of owners/developers more than they do the industry professionals tasked with building new housing.
Although the reasons for that obviously vary, it is likely the case much of the time that writers focused on the potential downsides of construction — delay, cost overrun, financing glitches and so forth — tend to view such matters from a perspective that posits inequality in the owner/contractor relationship.
After all, construction contractors routinely negotiate and execute complex agreements with customers that arguably put them in the driver’s seat when it comes to industry practice, policy, terminology and outcomes.
Is that the right way to look at things, though?
The question is duly posed because, in today’s world, consumers have a wealth of resources and professional help available to them to help ensure that they are on equal bargaining terms with building professionals in construction projects.
And, of course, they can insist that the contracts they sign contain provisions ensuring their ready access to court in the event they allege contractor negligence and damages linked with it.
A recent article in a national law journal undertakes a detailed analysis of predominant risk-related issues that commonly arise in construction projects. It is written from an owner-developer perspective, which, as noted above, is far more a commonplace than a rarity where construction-defect pieces are concerned.
It implicitly makes one centrally unbiased point, though, namely this: many stated issues of concern for owners and developers are easily flipped, spelling core concerns of equal magnitude for contractors. And those can range most widely, encompassing matters related to scope of work, indemnities and change orders to warranties, insurance, dispute resolution and more.
The bottom line with a construction contract is that all parties must be adequately protected.