Matt Viator

Latest Articles

Hurricane Michael was one of the most-damaging hurricanes to hit the mainland United States ever. Being from Louisiana, we at zlien have seen some big storms. In fact, our very company was created, in large part, as a result of the construction work afterward. Recovering from Hurricane Michael will take a similar effort, and the construction industry plays perhaps the biggest role in that recovery. Recovering From Hurricane Michael: The Basics In this article, we’ll…
Today’s the day! That is, October 10, 2018… Pennsylvania contractors, subcontractors, and even property owners should take note – HB 566 comes into effect today. HB 566 made changes to the Pennsylvania Contractors and Subcontractors Payment Act (also known as CASPA). These changes affect how payment is withheld, penalties for wrongful withholding, and the right to stop work – among other slight changes. Let’s do a quick overview of some of the biggest alterations. For…
When a natural disaster is on the horizon, there are a million things to worry about. Obviously, safety is number one. But it’s also worth keeping an eye forward. After major storms like Hurricane Florence, there will likely be lots of property damage and lots of construction work. The rush to repair homes and businesses can be a chaotic time for property owners, but it’s a chaotic time for construction businesses, too. With that in…
With great power comes great responsibility. When talking about mechanics liens (construction’s most powerful tool for payment), this responsibility manifests itself in strict deadlines. Once a lien is filed, the clock starts ticking. If the clock strikes zero and no enforcement action is brought, the lien “expires”. This means that the lien claimant may no longer bring an enforcement action (read: lawsuit) to enforce their lien claim. But what happens when a lien does expire? The answer to…
Construction jobs go off-schedule. As a contractor or sub, this is basically a fact of life – even the best laid plans can fail. But what happens when your work is affected by someone else‘s problem, costing you money? When a job really goes awry and costs a construction company precious time and money, that company might sue for damages related to the delay. Thus, the “No Damages for Delay” clause was born – to protect owners,…
When working on a federal job, there’s a different set of rules. Literally! There are a slew of laws surrounding requirements on federal projects, not the least of which is the Miller Act. But this isn’t another Miller Act post (though we’re sure to publish another one soon). No, this post takes a look at a circumstance of federal projects that’s less obvious – the fact that consequences for mistakes on federal jobs can…
There are plenty of problems with construction payment, and many solutions have been attempted through legislation. But more legislation isn’t the answer. While it’s not the answer, legislative changes can help fix the problems, when done right. Enter Little Miller Acts. Every state provides payment protection on public projects via their own version of a Little Miller act – but the protection is limited to down-the-chain parties. The idea is that since the GC…
In construction, licensing is serious business. In many states, unlicensed contractors and subs can’t file mechanics liens (if licensure is required, of course). But that’s not the worst case scenario. Recently, we wrote about unlicensed contractors facing steep penalties in Florida. While not quite as dire, the penalties in Tennessee can be steep too. Tennessee License Limits Mean Business With design changes, scheduling delays, and unexpected costs lurking behind every corner, it’s common for…
It’s that time of year! New legislation has just been passed, and construction businesses are preparing to incorporate the changes into their current processes. In Pennsylvania, some interesting changes have been made regarding the right to suspend work for nonpayment and the right to withhold payments. Luckily, there’s plenty of time. The new rules won’t go into effect until October 10th. Still, Pennsylvania contractors and subcontractors should start preparing sooner than later. These changes come…
Prevailing wage laws have been in the news a lot lately. In fact, just last week we released an article on the subject: Does Removing Prevailing Wage Laws Lower the Cost of Construction? Many states are asking that same question, and a few have even repealed their prevailing wage laws in recent years. Michigan is the latest addition to that list. Effective immediately, prevailing wages are no longer required for Michigan public projects. Of course,…