Category: Getting Paid

Is There a Way to Deal with These Pay-if-paid Provisions?

They are a problem for all subcontractors and suppliers – those pay-if-paid provisions stating that payment won’t be due from a general contractor until and unless it is first paid by the owner. This shifting of the risk of non-payment from a contractor to its subs and material suppliers has found its way into most construction contracts you see today. But many of these clauses are ambiguous. The pay-if-paid language can be interpreted on the one hand as establishing the condition that payment must first be received from the owner before it must be paid out to the provider, or, ... Read more

How Do You Price That Construction Project?

Contractors always face the predicament of correctly pricing a job. Too high and lose the work; too low and make no money. A good price is one that works for both the contractor and the customer. Basing a price on what the competition is charging may sound like a good starting point but the costs available to one company may not be the same for another. As well, neither material nor labor costs are hardly ever fixed, especially over the term of a project which often spans many months. What’s a contractor to do? Many include a price adjustment clause in their contracts. If ... Read more

Can You Lien For Work Without a Signed Change Order?

Obtaining a signed change order can be harder than doing the actual changed work. As a result, you may get to the end of a job with a number of change orders that have yet to be signed. Can you lien for those amounts? This is a tricky question and is subject to some debate. But the most conservative answer is that you should only lien for work that is contained in a change order executed by all parties. What if you have other documentation (letters, emails, text messages) which supports your position, showing that the owner or contractor approved ... Read more