Minimizing Your Risk on a Construction Project

Association of Construction and Development
October 15, 2012 — 1,699 views  

Minimizing Your Risk on a Construction Project

A construction project tends to last longer and cost more than anyone thinks it will. However, in the end it should be worth all the aggravation, whether the end project is a brand new kitchen or bathroom for a customer or a brand new building. Here are the top five actions a contractor can take to make sure that their risk on a construction project is minimal.

Get Everything In Writing
It is really imperative that the details of the construction job be put in writing. This means an exquisitely detailed contract that is read, understood and signed by both the contractor and the client. The contract should contain, at least, the address and contact numbers of both parties, the start and end dates of the job, the itemization of all materials, which subcontractor does what job, and how much everything costs, down to the smallest tile for the bathroom. It’s also crucial to include an arbitration clause in the contract in case the contractor and client still don’t agree.

Another useful thing to add to a contract is a clause allowing the client to change his or her mind, after appropriate notice, on minor details like the shape and color of a light fixture shade or a different color paint for a room or the exterior of the house. 

Make Sure Licenses and Insurances Are Up to Date
The contractor must have a license and insurance and they must be up to date. If a contractor works on a major construction or remodeling job without a license, he’s almost certainly breaking several laws.

An uninsured worker who injures him or herself on the job will cause deep trouble for everyone involved on the project.

Get the Proper Permits
The contractor will also need the right permits to work on a project. These can be purchased from the municipal building department. The client will pay for them.

Know the Building Codes
Building codes can be very involved and the contractor should be familiar with them before he starts on a job. For example, some municipalities require that a certain rating of insulation be used in an attic, or that fluorescent lighting be used in a kitchen. If an inspector finds that the work violates the code, the work will need to be done over.

Use the Right Tools for the Job
This will minimize the physical risks of a construction job. For example, using the wrong type of screwdriver on a screw can strip the screw, damage the material, or injure the user.


Association of Construction and Development