Construction Law

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Our Pittsburgh lawyers’ unique perspective comes from having successfully represented both contractors and property owners. Our solid litigation experience and background will help you get the best result possible.


When a construction project is deep underway, the main goals is getting the project finished, properly, and timely. At this time, the property owner, contractor and subs might not be thinking like lawyers. For example, if you are the property owner, you may be focused on the logistics of getting your building (or addition or remodel) built rather than getting all change orders in writing.


The 2007 amendments to the statutory law in Pennsylvania protect contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers of materials like never before. You need to know how to use the law to your advantage.


It is customary for a job to require one or more change orders to accommodate the needs of the owner, take into account unforeseen circumstances, and/or address the availability of certain materials. Changes to the original agreement are not always in writing because of time constraints and pressures to finish the job. In the end, this creates significant difficulties in trying to evaluate the rights and duties of the parties when one party breaches the agreement.


Your job might involve a list of items yet to be performed, which is sometimes called a “punch list.” The phrase gets its name from the historical process of punching a hole in the margin of the document, next to one of the items on the list. This indicated that the work was completed for that particular construction task. Two copies of the list were punched at the same time to provide an identical record for the architect and contractor.


The use of “cheaper” materials by a subcontractor can be just as detrimental to the job as negligently performed work. Either way, costs are added to the job and claims get made.


Contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers now have more time to perfect their lien against real property when they are not paid in full. This is not to say that every mechanic’s lien (or threatened lien) is legitimate. In fact, the taking of an improper lien can expose the lien holder to a claim for trade disparagement and a claim for abuse of process. A lawyer can explain the pitfalls that both parties to a contract can face when a lien is entered.


The law has changed in a manner that makes it significantly harder to waive liens that third parties can make. The amendments to the law in this area also extend the time period during a which a lien may be taken.


Our Pittsburgh attorneys handle corporate law disputes, construction law matters, claims by and against contractors, mechanic’s liens, minority shareholder claims, and other disputes.  We help those inside and outside of Pennsylvania who have disputes in Western PA.  


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