I have often discussed the more “mechanical” aspects of contract negotiation and drafting here at Construction Law Musings. However, there is another, less objective (possibly) and more “feel” oriented aspect to construction contracting that can have as big an impact on your construction project. What am I talking about? Your instinct as a construction professional when looking the other party in the eye and getting a feel for the company or individual with whom you are contracting.
Why is this so important? Firstly, and this is a truism, no matter how well drafted your construction contract is (and it should be well drafted and reviewed by an experienced construction attorney), if the other party wishes to “play games” and not honor the terms of that contract, you could still very well end up in litigation with the attendant frustration and expense. Having a great looking, well thought out and at least reasonably “fair” construction contract may make the litigation process somewhat less painful but it does not completely avoid the risk of litigation. If the other party or parties to the contract decide not to pay you or perform as they promised, you are left to enforce whatever contract you have in place.