Sanderford & Carroll, P.C.

Sanderford & Carroll, P.C. Blogs

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One of the most important aspects of any agreement is the scope of work to be performed.  All too often disputes arise between general contractors and their subcontractors concerning the scope of the subcontractor’s responsibilities after work has begun. It is not difficult to imagine a scenario where the project work has begun and the superintendent begins directing the performance of work that was never contemplated by the subcontractor.  Even worse, is when the subcontractor specifically excluded…
Compared to prime (general) contractors, it is much more difficult for subcontractors to perfect lien and bond claims on private projects.  Subcontractors must give timely notice of non-payment to the owner.  If the subcontractor claimant does not have an agreement with the prime contractor, notice must also be given to the prime contractor.  Failure to comply with the pre-lien notice requirements is fatal to a subcontractor’s lien claim Prime contractors, on the other hand, are…
  After struggling to cobble together your mechanic’s lien affidavit, you’ve driven 150 miles to reach the county clerk’s office before close of business. Today is the filing deadline.  No worries, you made it!! But now you stand toe-to-toe and face-to-face with a clerk that refuses to record your claim.  WHAT NOW??? More often than you might imagine, this same scene plays out across Texas.  I’ve had to send my fair share of post-filing fight…
Any construction contract worth its salt includes provisions for modifying the agreement, either by agreement or by unilateral action.  The most common modifications increase or decrease the contract scope, contract dollar amount and time.  Commonly referred as a “change order”, when used correctly and consistently, this instrument works to avoid disputes when payment becomes due, the project seems untimely or the budget is exceeded.  They can also become a double-edged sword if not…
Do you know any criminals?  If you have worked in the construction industry for very long then the likely answer is, “Yes”!  I’m not talking about folks that you believe are cheats, scoundrels and liars.  Nope.  Instead, I’m talking about contractors, subcontractors and owners that misapply funds for construction projects received for the benefit of those that furnish labor and materials.  It is rare (in fact, I don’t know of a similar statute) to find a…
Who bears the risk when an owner refuses to pay the general contractor or experiences financial failure?  More than likely, the subcontractors whose agreements include a contingent payment clause.  Two types of payment clauses exist and both are enforceable.  “Pay-when-Paid” clauses and “Pay-if-Paid.”  Pay-when-paid clauses allow the general contractor to wait a reasonable time for the owner to pay before paying the subcontractor.  Pay-if-paid clauses shift the risk of non-payment completely to the subcontractor.  Stated…
  Don’t lose downstream claims correcting construction defects. Your project did not go well. Subcontractors performed poorly, the architect was impossible and delivery occurred late.  You were lucky to break even and glad to be finished.  A couple of years pass and the phone rings.  It’s the owner.  The project is now leaking and merchandise is being ruined.  Your investigation confirms construction defects and the owner is threatening a lawsuit if you don’t immediately begin…
  When a construction project goes sideways, a subcontractor’s ability to place a lien or perfect a bond claim is often the difference between making a profit (or breaking even) and taking a loss. And, as any contractor that does a substantial amount of government contracting work knows, bonds are the only game in town for most local, state and federal government work. On federal projects, the statutory requirement for the provision of Miller Act…
  That Public Works Project you are bidding may not be bonded after all.  Under Texas Law, state and local projects with a price tag of $25,000 or more are required to be bonded.  Apparently, at least one Texas municipality has decided to save money and eliminate the bonding requirement from one of its projects.  This is a clear violation of law that places huge risks on the backs of subcontractors in the event…
  Perfecting a statutory mechanic’s and materialman’s lien under current Texas law is difficult.  The statutes are less than clear and chocked full of traps and deadlines that trip up many contractors and material suppliers.  Fortunately, lien perfection typically results in payment or pre-trial settlement once foreclosure is threatened.  However, when payment is not forthcoming, a claimant must timely file a lawsuit to foreclose the lien.  On more than one occasion I’ve represented contractors who…