Sign in haste, repent at leisure

By Dean

17 Feb 2016

If I had a pound for every time someone had said to me that they just put their construction contracts in the bottom drawer at the start of a project, I’d be a wealthy woman.

By Mary Cross, head of contract services, Glovers Project Services

Even before the economic downturn, there was a tendency to try to pass as much risk as possible down the chain leading to onerous terms for main contractors and in turn sub-contractors. Now contracts and sub-contracts are laden with all sorts of tricks and loopholes which might catch out the unsuspecting.

You should look out for the following before signing your construction contracts:

Condition Precedents

Payment Terms – the final date for payment is often extended and the period for issuing pay less notices reduced and all this can be hidden in the small print

Notices

Design Responsibility – are you being made responsible for a design you did not prepare without recourse to the designer? The more you read your contracts the better you will get at spotting the terms that could end up being fatal for your business. If you’re in any doubt about the implications of a particular term, you can always get a professional opinion because if you sign in haste, you could end up repenting at leisure.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Dean

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