New York & New Jersey Construction Contracts Attorney

lawyer speaking to a client about construction contracts

At Merlino & Gonzalez, our real estate attorneys have over 20 years of successful experience with construction contracts for residential and commercial clients in Staten Island and throughout New York and New Jersey. You can count on us to protect your interests by negotiating your contract carefully and effectively. 

Our construction contract lawyers are fully aware that ambiguous wording can lead to unnecessary misunderstandings and disputes, so our lawyers are exacting when it comes to wording. Because legalese is indeed another language, we will make certain you understand your contract completely before signing it. Contact us now so we can discuss your needs and minimize your risks.

Services Merlino & Gonzalez Provides 

Once you contact us, we will be happy to meet all of your contract need by:

Negotiating construction contracts — We are savvy enough to pick up areas of possible misunderstandings and resolve them before there are disputes.

Drafting construction contracts — We are sensitive to the elements that make this contract unique and will address all relevant issues in a customized, not cookie-cutter, contract.

Reviewing and revising contracts — We are especially careful when reviewing contracts prepared by other parties to make sure that your interests are protected.

Resolving incipient disputes  We are knowledgeable and diplomatic enough to resolve disputes that may arise as construction begins and continues. Our intervention and advocacy can prevent delays in the construction process.

Types of Construction Contracts We Handle

Merlino & Gonzalez routinely assists real estate clients with contracts involving new construction and renovations. You can depend on us because we have comprehensive knowledge of contract law and the various disciplines connected to the field of construction. We are highly capable when dealing with all aspects of construction and well-prepared to deal with architects, engineers, and landscapers, as well as contractors, who are working on a development project. 

There are many types of construction contracts and our accomplished construction contract attorneys know the benefits and drawbacks of each. Below are construction contracts in common use:

  1. Fixed Price Contracts

Fixed price or lump sum contracts are the most commonly used construction contracts.

As the name indicates, barring unforeseen occurrences (e.g. catastrophic weather, cut-off supply chain of building materials), the contractor is required to complete the project for the agreed-upon price. 

Although this type of contract is beneficial in its presumed certainty, it may be more expensive since the contractor will usually add a certain amount to the cost to cover unexpected problems. At times, the contractor may also add time to the project to make up for lost profits.

  1. Cost-Plus Contracts

A cost-plus contract is also referred to as a time and materials contract. Under such a contract contractors will bill for their costs plus an additional fee for their services. The additional fee may be fixed or, alternatively, calculated on the percentage of the total cost. This type of contract is generally favorable to the contractor since contractors can be sure they will be reimbursed for changes in design and/or materials. The flexibility that protects the contractor, however, can be risky for the property owner who will have less control over the final cost.

  1. Guaranteed Maximum Price Contracts

A guaranteed maximum price contract has elements of both a fixed price contract and a cost-plus contract. Though there is a fixed “guaranteed maximum price” capping the cost of the project, contractors know they will be paid for their materials and their time. Nonetheless, owners retain more flexibility when it comes to design changes, sure that there is a set limit to their expenses. 

Interestingly, guaranteed maximum price contracts sometimes include a shared savings provision in which the two parties agree to split the savings if the actual costs of construction are less than the guaranteed maximum price.

Although all contracts require strong legal representation, this type is particularly complex. Contractors usually try to make the cap as high as possible so they have a greater profit margin even if savings are substantial and to create a buffer to protect them from unexpected expenses. This kind of contact typically takes more time to negotiate and administer.

As you can see, arriving at a contract that is acceptable to both parties and serves your own interests well involves complicated negotiations. This is why it is critical to have a well-seasoned attorney at your side. 

Contact Our Experienced Construction Contract Attorneys Today

Whether you are about to contract construction on a residential or commercial property, the procedure can be risky in terms of results and finances if you are not well-advised. Contact Merlino & Gonzalez now to make sure the project you are undertaking has the best chance of being successfully completed at the right price. 

Merlino & Gonzalez help residents of New York & New Jersey with their real estate needs. Since their primary office is in Staten Island, they receive a lot of clients there as well as in the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, & The Bronx.