Construction Issues

Texas Construction Law

Common Issues in Texas Construction Law

Liens
  • Is it too late to file?

  • Who can make them?

  • What types are there?

  • Are they automatic?

  • Can the owner's property be foreclosed?

  • What do contractors need to file?

  • Where do I need to file it?

  • What is the risk if I file it late/early?

  • Do I need to provide notice? To whom? What does it have to say? When must I provide it by?

 

Payment Disputes, Contract Drafting, and Breach
  • Can I trap funds? From Who?

  • What duties are owed between parties?

  • Is the breach material?

  • What is the difference between a condition precedent and an implied covenant?

  • My project is running over budget. What are my options?

  • Is my change order legally effective?

  • Is a verbal promise binding? For how long? Under what circumstances?

  • My supplier has failed to perform. What can I do?

  • As a supplier, my buyer has failed to purchase. What do I do?

  • Does my contract contain the terms that I want?

  • What do certain terms mean within an AIA contract?

  • How are these terms actually applied?

  • Are the terms in my contract legally enforceable?

  • If something isn’t covered in my contract, what’s the rule?

  • How do I recover my retainage?

  • What are my options if owner refuses or cannot pay?

  • What does "substantial completion" really mean?

  • How do liquidated damages work? Are they legally enforceable?

  • How do sureties work from a legal perspective? What are their rights and remedies? Am I at risk?

  • How can a bond help me?

  • Between an interim construction loan and general mortgage, who has superior rights?

 

Employee Issues
  • Employees vs independent contractors?

  • Borrowed servant?

  • Am I required to carry workers' compensation insurance?

  • Who does it cover?

  • What am I protected from?

  • My employee is hurt. Is the company at risk? Are there any other parties at risk?

 

Design, Build . . . Litigate?

Construction law is unlike any other law we practice. The interaction between the dozens, if not hundreds of bodies of law governing Texas construction, including statutes, codes, licenses, permits, environmental regulations, LEED certifications, zoning ordinances, and Texas common law make this area one of the most difficult legal subjects to master. Texas construction, unlike many areas of law, has been a moving target. Therefore, a thorough understanding of these principles and their historical development can avoid expensive complications and protect the bottom line.

Contractors work hard and move fast. It’s the nature of the industry, it's a good thing, and it's the reason why American construction practices are imitated worldwide. Even so, where constructors spend their time attempting to read, comprehend and apply the law in such a way as to avoid legal fines and litigation, these contractors are both wasting their valuable building time, and risking costly and time consuming legal pitfalls. More often than anyone would like, such traps come down to a few simple words. As any industry member knows, one project can be make or break for a company.

House Perron & House’s value to constructors and vendors (materialmen) is our ability to shape the legal side of doing business such that it becomes smoother, more predictable, and less expensive. Of all the expenses that contractors, suppliers, subs, and owners calculate on a daily basis, we firmly believe, and have the experience to confirm, that hiring a trusted lawyer to work through and counsel you on consequential transactions as they arise is quite possibly the best dollar-for-dollar savings an owner, constructor, or vendor is capable of making. Some of these issues can be unique, and more complex than others, thereby requiring some digging and detective work, but the time and minimal comparative expense can be well worth it.

Cost overruns can take your profit for a job, of course. Litigation can take away the job’s profit and your company’s assets. Sometimes it is all on the line. It is not a pretty picture, and one that many times was completely avoidable, had careful planning been exercised in the beginning.

My partners and I are in this business to help friends, who just so happen to be clients.

Give us a call. Let’s talk. We can help.

 

Telephone: 281.762.1377

 

House Perron & House PLLC

2211 Norfolk Street Suite 1150,

Houston, TX 77098

Phone. 281-762-1377

Fax. 8663427683