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Construction Contracts

Perkins Olson represents both large and small contractors throughout the State of Maine on negotiating and drafting construction contracts.

Our work in the construction field involves construction of commercial buildings, wind farm projects, bridges, piers, and paving projects.

We understand that construction contracts have to be fair and reasonable. Our negotiating approach is to move in a cost effective manner toward reasonable contractual terms that clearly define each party’s rights and obligations.

Subcontracts

As part of our work on construction contracts, we regularly negotiate and draft subcontracts on commercial construction projects.

We represent both the primary contractor and subcontractors with subcontracts. Subcontracts often incorporate the provisions of the general contract for the project. Perkins Olson lawyers take particular care to make sure our client understands all of the provisions of the subcontract.

Again, we work to achieve reasonable protections for our clients with clearly stated rights and obligations.

Mechanic Liens

Maine law allows a contractor who makes improvements (with services or materials) to a property to secure payment with a mechanic lien when the customer fails to pay the amount due. The filing of a timely and properly drafted mechanic lien is a critical means of assuring payment, as the mechanic lien goes ahead of the mortgage on the property.

Mechanic liens are allowed by statute, so all statutory requirements must be satisfied. This includes a filing of the lien in the registry within 90 days of the date services and/or materials were last provided to the project, adequate description of the affected property, proper acknowledgement, joinder of all necessary parties in the mechanic lien lawsuit, and the filing of the lawsuit within 120 days of the last date of services and/or materials having been provided to the project.

Litigation Or Arbitration of Construction Law Disputes

With construction projects, disputes often arise over matters like the contractor’s scope of work, the quality of the work, the timeliness of completion of the work, change orders, and payment. Many construction contracts call for arbitration of disputes.

Perkins Olson has represented contractors both in Maine and outside of Maine on a broad range of construction disputes, both in arbitration and in court.

These disputes have involved several airport runway (aprons) paving projects (disputes over whether the paving met specifications), bridge projects (a bridge that failed), a large commercial subdivision (insolvency of the developer resulting in failure to pay the contractor), the failure of geothermal heating and cooling systems that were installed in a downtown Portland office building and a coastal hotel (failure to meet standards of care with design/engineering and breach of warranties), and a wind farm project (contractual dispute concerning the owner’s obligation to proceed with a particular builder as the contractor).

With construction disputes, we work closely with the client and its staff to assess the construction issues and the legal issues. With that knowledge, we have successfully resolved most construction disputes through negotiation to our client’s favor. When litigation is needed, we have obtained favorable outcomes because the analysis of the dispute was handled correctly at the outset.