What To Know When Hiring A Contractor

Planning to build a home or remodel your existing home?

The Law Offices of Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston come across many construction cases where the contractor either does not have a license or the license he or she carries is out of date.

 

It is important to know how to hire a contractor when starting a construction project at your home. Here are some tips to choosing a contractor:

  • Make sure he or she is currently state licensed in your area. Has the construction company paid its employees legally and carry workers’ compensation, property damage and liability insurance? You should also find out how long he or she has been in business along with a list of references you can contact.
  • Does the contractor have a work crew or do they subcontract the work? Protect yourself from a mechanics lien by asking the contractor, subcontractors and suppliers for lien releases or waivers upon each payment.
  • Ask if the contractor can supply you with a fixed start and completion date included in a formal written agreement. If you aren’t normally onsite during the project it is a good idea to check in regularly to make sure everything is coming along.
  • Ask for an itemized price estimate from each potential contractor when getting bids. Examine each carefully paying attention to those that seem too high or too low. Lower bids may mean you will get a hasty job that won’t leave you with a quality finished product. Remember, in most cases you get what you pay for.
  • Ask the contractor for a schedule of the work from start to finish. If you want regular progress reports, ask for them in writing.
  • Don’t let your payments get ahead of the work. We recommend paying 10 percent down before they start the project. If it is a stable company they won’t need a large amount of money to pay for materials or overhead.
  • If you have questions about a mechaincs lien or construction issues, contact Jonathon Preston with Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston APC.

 

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Has A Mechanics Lien Been Filed On Your Property?

What to do if a mechanics lien has been filed on your property.

The first thing you should do is determine if it is a valid lien. If work has not been completed or supplies were not included in the plans and contracts, the lien may be void.

If an invalid mechanics lien was filed it can make it difficult or impossible to sell, refinance or obtain a line of credit on your property. However if the contractor, subcontractor, laborer, or material supplier fail to follow any of the specific time frames, your lien may be invalid and you may petition the court to remove the lien.

Talk with our office to find out if your lien is valid. Was the preliminary notice given to you within the specific time frames? The subcontractor or supplier will have 20 days after delivering materials or beginning work to serve a preliminary notice. If it is late, lien rights are lost on work done or materials delivered more than 20 days before the notice.

Check with your local superior court to make sure a timely lien foreclosure action was filed by the subcontractor or material supplier. A lien foreclosure action is a lawsuit to foreclose the mechanics lien. The lien claimant must file a lien foreclosure action within 90 days of the date that he or she recorded the mechanics lien.

Call The Law Offices of Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston today so we can help you with the mechanics lien filed on your property – (951) 461-2500

Safety At The Construction Site

Construction sites pose the risk of injury and many precautions should be taken in order to avoid harm.

It is important for all job site personnel to be properly trained on equipment and job site safety. The Law Offices of Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston deal with many construction site injury cases.

Please take a moment to read these construction site safety rules:

  • Personal safety equipment must be worn as prescribed for each job, such as:  safety glasses for eye protection, hard hats at all times within the confines of the construction area where there is a potential for falling materials or tools, gloves when handling materials, and safety shoes are necessary for protection against foot injuries.
  • If any part of your body should come in contact with an acid or caustic substance, rush to the nearest water available and flush the affected part.  Secure medical aid immediately.
  • Pay attention and watch where you are walking.
  • A good job is a clean job, and a clean job is the start of a safe job.  So keep your working area free from trash and debris.
  • Lift correctly with your legs, not the back.  If the load is too heavy get help.  Approximately twenty percent of all construction related injuries result from lifting materials.
  • Know what emergency procedures have been established for your job site.  (Location of emergency phone, first aid kit, stretcher location, fire extinguisher locations, evacuation plan, etc.)

How To Avoid Construction Litigation

The market is improving and we are starting to see more new construction start to go up.

When more construction starts, we see a lot more cases pop up that have to do with legal issues at construction sites.

construction

Page, Lobo, Costales and Preston would like to share with our readers some helpful tips to avoiding a construction lawsuit:

  • View changes in the original construction plan as an opportunity for mutual benefit. We all know changes in a construction project are inevitable, whether unforeseen or initiated by the owner. In a flexible environment with communication as a top priority, dealing with unexpected change can be a group effort, and open communication is key.
  • Make sure goals are set in place to meet the project’s schedule and budget. When faced with an issue, gather as much information as possible about the given subject before proceeding.
  • Hire a construction manager to better articulate the owner’s goals and facilitate the contractor’s work. A qualified construction manager knows what to look for during your project’s design in order to avoid legal action later.
  • Build a relationship with your project team and make trust and communication your biggest asset. During the bidding period you can test each partner’s knowledge and willingness to work together.

Do you have questions about a legal matter for a construction project you are involved with? Please call our offices at 951-461-2500.

Avoiding Construction Litigation

The market is improving and we are starting to see more new construction start to go up.

When more construction starts, we see a lot more cases pop up that have to do with legal issues at construction sites.

construction litigationPage, Lobo, Costales and Preston would like to share with our readers some helpful tips to avoiding a construction lawsuit:

  • View changes in the original construction plan as an opportunity for mutual benefit. We all know changes in a construction project are inevitable, whether unforeseen or initiated by the owner. In a flexible environment with communication as a top priority, dealing with unexpected change can be a group effort, and open communication is key.
  • Make sure goals are set in place to meet the project’s schedule and budget. When faced with an issue, gather as much information as possible about the given subject before proceeding.
  • Hire a construction manager to better articulate the owner’s goals and facilitate the contractor’s work. A qualified construction manager knows what to look for during your project’s design in order to avoid legal action later.
  • Build a relationship with your project team and make trust and communication your biggest asset. During the bidding period you can test each partner’s knowledge and willingness to work together.

Do you have questions about a legal matter for a construction project you are involved with? Please call our offices at 951-461-2500.

The Ins and Outs Of A Mechanics Lien

How to avoid a mechanics lien.

With all the new construction going up in the area, we are starting to see more construction lawsuits, including mechanics liens, start to pop up.

mechanics liensA mechanics lien is a hold against a property when a contractor, subcontractor, laborer or material supplier has not been paid. A mechanics lien is recorded with the county recorder’s office and if unpaid it allows a foreclosure action. A foreclosure action will force the sale of the property in lieu of compensation.

In order to avoid a mechanics lien, follow these tips:

  • Choose your contractor carefully. It is important to hire only licensed contractors and make sure they hire only licensed subcontractors. It is also a good idea to check your contractor’s reputation for paying subcontractors and material suppliers.
  • Double check your written contract. Your contract should include a schedule that states when specific phases of the work start and end. The contract should also identify subcontractors or labors for each phase as well as the material suppliers for each phase.
  • Save your preliminary notices. A preliminary notice is required from subcontractors and suppliers if there is a chance they may need to file a lien. It will state the subcontractor or supplier has or will provide the goods and services to improve your property and could file a lien claim if they are not paid. If a subcontractor does not provide you with a notice, they lose the right to file a lien.
  • Issue joint checks to your contractor and suppliers/subcontractors. This will ensure the subcontractors and suppliers are paid. Make sure the work has been done as described.
  • Fill out a notice of completion with the county recorder’s office after the work has been completed. This will reduce the amount of time a contractor, subcontractor, laborer or material supplier has to record a claim.

Do you have questions on construction law or mechanics liens? Please call us, 951-461-2500, and we’d be happy to help!

What To Do If A Mechanics Lien Is Filed On Your Property

Mechanics liens and your property.

If a mechanics lien is filed on your property, the first thing you should do is determine if it is a valid lien. If work has not been completed or supplies were not included in the plans and contracts, the lien may be void.

mechanic lienIf an invalid lien was filed it can make it difficult or impossible to sell, refinance or obtain a line of credit on your property. However if the contractor, subcontractor, laborer, or material supplier fail to follow any of the specific time frames, your lien may be invalid and you may petition the court to remove the lien.

Talk with our office to find out if your lien is valid. Was the preliminary notice given to you within the specific time frames? The subcontractor or supplier will have 20 days after delivering materials or beginning work to serve a preliminary notice. If it is late, lien rights are lost on work done or materials delivered more than 20 days before the notice.

Check with your local superior court to make sure a timely lien foreclosure action was filed by the subcontractor or material supplier. A lien foreclosure action is a lawsuit to foreclose the mechanics lien. The lien claimant must file a lien foreclosure action within 90 days of the date that he or she recorded the mechanics lien.