Construction Law



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Construction Law deals primarily with contract law and encompasses all aspects of the legal process, from the initial bidding on the project, to the negotiation and the formation of the agreements and contracts.

Construction law also governs disputes between the parties involved in the construction process (i.e. builder and homeowner). There are many laws that govern the construction process, and that apply to the various businesses and professions that are a part of and serve the construction industry.

Government contract law is a specific area of construction law. These projects involve the Federal, State and Local Governments, and are governed by very precise government laws, legal principles and legal procedures.

When injuries occur, workers’ compensation law is also a subset of construction law.

In construction law, both the owner and the contractor are required by law to act in good faith in the performance of their contractual obligations. Courts have held that the construction contractor owes the owner a duty to perform services in an appropriate workmanlike manner. This duty requires the contractor to warn the owner if the design or construction specifications may have damaging results. Likewise, courts have held than an owner has a duty to cooperate with contractors. The owner’s duty to cooperate also requires that the owner not interfere with or purposefully delay the contractor’s performance.

Although specialized, construction law can touch on many legal practice areas. If you have issues with your contractor, you might want to speak with an attorney who has expertise in this complex field.

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Articles About Construction Law

  • Workplace Accidents: The 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America
    According to Forbes, some of the jobs that are commonly thought of as dangerous actually result in the fewest fatalities. For instance, firefighting and tractor operation are safer jobs than being a car mechanic.
  • Study Shows Construction Workers Exposed to Silica Are at Risk of Disease
    Construction workers are exposed to a number of occupational hazards, such as scaffolding injuries, noise hazards, and equipment injuries. But a new report shows that construction workers who are exposed to crystalline silica dust are also at risk of developing occupational diseases over the long term.
  • Tips for Staying Safe in the Workplace
    Employers are legally obligated to provide a safe working environment for their employees.
  • Deadliest Jobs: 3 of America’s 10 Deadliest Jobs are Construction-Related
    Three of the ten deadliest jobs in America are construction-related. Roofers are no. 4 on the list, followed by structural iron and steel workers at no. 5 and construction laborers at no. 10.
  • Construction workers at a higher risk for accidents
    Not long ago a Queens construction worker died when he fell through a floor and struck his head on a steel girder. The 42-year-old worker was rushed to the hospital but sadly died shortly afterward from his injuries.
  • Understanding Building Codes
    Building codes establish standards for the construction of buildings and other structures. Virtually every structure in a modern building is subject to at least one, and usually several different building codes.
  • How to Get Paid for Construction Delay Claims
    The single most common cause of construction litigation for non-private, residential projects is delay. Delays may cascade from one contractor or trade to another, causing a domino effect that can lead to a very expensive conclusion. After all, time is money, and delays on commercial projects can mean thousands or even millions in lost revenues to the property owner.
  • Common Construction Injuries
    Construction work can be very dangerous. Heavy equipment, heights, dangerous obstacles all around: construction work presents unique hazards most other occupations do not. As a result, injuries on construction sites are all too frequent an occurrence.
  • Burn Injuries and Brain Damage
    Statistics show that there are 450,000 emergency room visits due to burn injuries every year in the United States. After emergency treatment, 10% of those injuries (or some 45,000 people) will be admitted to long-term care or treatment at burn centers. Unfortunately, about 3,500 of these burn victims will not survive.
  • Understanding and Avoiding Construction Liens
    A construction (or "mechanic’s") lien gives builders, contractors, and suppliers legal recourse to get paid for their work as well as any materials or supplies purchased for a project. This recourse is in the form of a right to interfere with your ability to convey clear title to your real property and/or to foreclose the construction lien to take title to that property.
  • All Real Estate Law Articles

    Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Real Estate including: construction law, eminent domain, foreclosure, homeowners association, land use and zoning, landlord and tenant law, property law, property management.

State Construction Laws and Building Codes

Construction Law - US

  • ABA - Forum on the Construction Industry

    The American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry is the largest organization of construction lawyers in the United States and abroad. Its 6,000 members are drawn from all areas of practice: large law firms, small firms, solo practitioners, government lawyers and corporate in house counsel.

  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

    The Institute oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines that directly impact businesses in nearly every sector: from acoustical devices to construction equipment, from dairy and livestock production to energy distribution, and many more. ANSI is also actively engaged in accrediting programs that assess conformance to standards – including globally-recognized cross-sector programs such as the ISO 9000 (quality) and ISO 14000 (environmental) management systems.

  • B4UBUILD - Residential Building Codes, Construction Standards, Building Permit Information

    B4UBUILD.COM has been designed for use by anyone involved with residential construction. First time home buyers will find homebuilding books, a sample construction schedule, information about construction contracts, and a complete overview of the home building process. Move up buyers might find a new idea or a different house style in our photo album. Custom home builders will find a large directory of links to other home building resources and trade associations, as well as, a list of some of our pet peeves, which just might help them avoid conflicts with their clients.

  • Building Seismic Safety Council

    The Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC), established by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), develops and promotes building earthquake risk mitigation regulatory provisions for the nation.

  • Construction Specifications Institute

    CSI was founded in March 1948 by the specification writers of government agencies who came together to improve the quality of construction specifications. The Institute’s efforts were essential in improving construction specification quality so that it could meet the demands of the post-war construction boom. Development of specifications best practices, promulgating standards/formats, professional education, and certification were cornerstones of the Institute.

  • Deceptive Home Improvement Contractors Complaints

    HUD insures loans to help people renovate and repair their homes through a program called Title 1. Some deceptive contractors in the program were performing shoddy work, falsifying documents, and overcharging homeowners. This fraud had victimized thousands of families and cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. To avoid becoming a victim of fraud, work only with a HUD-approved Title 1 lender. This allows you to select the contractor and helps to prevent inflated estimates that only increase costs.

  • Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Design Standards for New Federal Buildings

    Provides full text of Department of Energy, Federal Energy Management Program’s energy conversation regulations. Regulations cover new federal commercial and residential buildings, both high-rise and low-rise; energy efficient products; motors; standby energy products.

  • EPA - Construction Section

    The construction sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in the construction of buildings and other structures, heavy construction (except buildings), additions and maintenance and repairs. Establishments engaged in demolition or wrecking of buildings and other structures and sale of materials from demolished structures are also included. This sector also includes those establishments engaged in blasting, test drilling, landfill, leveling, earthmoving and land drainage. The Department of Commerce formerly classified this industry under the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification code 15, 16, & 17; the sector is now classified under the 1997 North American Industry Classification System as 23.

  • HUD - Fair Housing Act - Design Manual

    First published in 1996, the Fair Housing Act Design Manual: A Manual to Assist Designers and Builders in Meeting the Accessibility Requirements of The Fair Housing Act provides clear and helpful guidance about ways to design and construct housing which complies with the Fair Housing Act. The manual explains the accessibility requirements of the Act, which must be incorporated into the design and construction of multifamily housing covered by the Act.

  • Implementation of PL 102-522 for Fire Alarm and Automatic Sprinkler Installations

    This guide provides both general and detailed information for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) field personnel regarding implementation of Public Law 102-522 pertaining to installation of fire alarm and automatic sprinkler systems.

  • National Electrical Code (NEC)

    The National Electrical Code (NEC), or NFPA 70, is a United States standard for the safe installation of electrical wiring and equipment. It is part of the National Fire Codes series published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). While the NEC is not itself a U.S. law, NEC use is commonly mandated by state or local law, as well as in many jurisdictions outside of the United States. The NEC codifies the requirements for safe electrical installations into a single, standardized source.

  • National Fire Protection Association - Codes and Standards

    NFPA develops, publishes, and disseminates more than 300 consensus codes and standards intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks. Virtually every building, process, service, design, and installation in society today is affected by NFPA documents.

  • National Standard Plumbing Code (NSPC)

    In 1971, the PHCC-National Association published the National Standard Plumbing Code (NSPC) in order to provide local and state governments, code administrative bodies and industry with a modern code, designed to ensure the proper installation of plumbing sustems. It has been maintained on a yearly basis, following the proven basic principles necessary to protect public health and safety.

  • National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    In recent years, Congress has responded to a growing need to strengthen OMB Circular A-119 and has passed several laws making it clear that federal agencies rely upon private voluntary standards whenever feasible. Foremost among these laws is the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (Public Law 104-113). Signed into law in early 1996, this landmark legislation contains key provisions pertaining to standards and conformity assessment.

  • Standards Development Organization Advancement Act of 2004

    HR 1086 provides qualified standards developers with an opportunity to file for, and obtain, a limited exclusion from antitrust liability for treble damages. This protection is identical to the protection which has been available to joint venturers under the National Cooperative Research and Production Act since 1993, which also remains available to those utilizing a consortium, or other informal process to develop standards.

Organizations Related to Construction Law

  • American Subcontractors Association
  • Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
  • Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)
  • Building Commissioning Association
  • Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association

    Insulating your home or commercial building saves energy (which saves you money), keeps you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, and is one of the best things you can do to protect the environment. But which insulation should you choose? This site is designed to assist you in researching the performance and environmental impact of the insulation choices available to you.

  • Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA)

    The Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) is “The Source & Resource for Construction Financial Professionals” and the only nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the construction financial professional. Established in 1981, CFMA’s General Members represent all types of contractors – including generals and subs – as well as developers, construction managers, architects, engineers, principals, and material and equipment suppliers. Associate Members include the accounting, insurance, surety, software, legal, and banking specialists who serve the construction industry.

  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)

    DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

  • Energy and Environmental Building Alliance

    The Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) provides an invaluable platform for insight, collaboration and education. EEBA delivers unique and relevant, multi-platform educational resources with the intention to manifest sustainable and responsible building principles in the design, marketing and execution of the building process.

  • Engineered Wood Association

    For over seventy years, APA-The Engineered Wood Association has focused on helping the industry create structural wood products of exceptional strength, versatility and reliability. Combining the research efforts of scientists at APA’s 42,000 square-foot research center with the knowledge gained from decades of field work, and cooperation with our member manufacturers, APA promotes new solutions and improved processes that benefit the entire industry.

  • Gypsum Association

    The mission of the Gypsum Association, a not-for-profit trade association founded in 1930, is to promote the use of gypsum while advancing the development growth, and general welfare of the gypsum industry in the United States and Canada on behalf of its member companies.

  • Institute for Business and Home Safety

    The Institute for Business & Home Safety’s mission is to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other property losses by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.

  • Insulation Contractors Association of America

    Established in 1977, ICAA is the only national organization promoting professionalism in the residential and commercial insulation contracting industry.

  • Modular Building Institute

    The Modular Building Institute is the trade association representing companies involved in the manufacturing and distribution of commercial factory-built structures. MBI provides services and promotes professionalism through communication, education, and recognition. Dedicated to enhancing the future growth of the industry, MBI encourages innovation and quality among its members.

  • National Association of Home Builders

    Construction Codes and Standards links to resources on codes, standards, accessibility, energy efficiency, green building, fire protection, indoor environment issues.

  • National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)

    The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) is a not-for-profit education foundation created to develop industry-driven standardized craft training programs with portable credentials and help address the critical workforce shortage facing the construction industry.

  • National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards

    NCSBCS serves as a forum for the interchange of information and provides technical services, education and training to our members to enhance the public’s social, economic well-being through safe, durable, accessible and efficient buildings.

  • Whole Building Design

    The goal of 'Whole Building' Design is to create a successful high-performance building by applying an integrated design and team approach to the project during the planning and programming phases.

Publications Related to Construction Law