Construction Law Information Center
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Frequently Asked Questions About Construction Law
Q: What is a building code?
A: A building code is a law or ordinance enacted by a local authority that sets out the minimum standards that must be met for building design, construction, quality and location. There are also specialized codes for plumbing, electrical and fire safety. Building codes also cover most remodeling projects.
Q: What permits do I need to get?
A: Every community has different requirements. You probably will at least need a building permit. You may have to obtain a special permit to build in a particular area. You should also be aware of any zoning or land use restrictions on the site where you plan to build.
Historic preservation laws in many cities and states limit the right of a building owner to make changes to a building that would affect its historic character. Some restrictions may apply to just one building, while others may apply to whole neighborhoods. Historic preservation laws are not limited to old, elaborate, or famous buildings. Preservation laws have been extended to ordinary homes, in ordinary middle-class neighborhoods that are considered to have some historic or architectural significance. If you are located in a historic preservation district, you may need legal advice as to what you can or can't do on your property.
Southwest Michigan Attorneys: Construction Law
At Willis Law, with offices in Kalamazoo and Paw Paw, we offer quality legal counsel and representation to contractors, architects, engineers, builders, owners and all other parties involved in construction projects. Our founders, Michael Willis and Shaun Patrick Willis, are lifelong residents of the region, and have significant experience in real estate development and construction. Attorney Shaun Willis gives seminars on construction lien law, and is an active member of the Greater Kalamazoo Home Builders Association. In other words, we understand - as lawyers and business people, ourselves - the legal issues than can hamstring construction projects. To learn more about our construction law, please contact Willis Law for a free consultation.
Construction Law - An Overview
Construction of both residential and commercial buildings can involve numerous legal issues, including construction-related disputes. When you are faced with construction related legal issues, you need the assistance of the experienced attorneys at Willis Law in Kalamazoo, Michagan.
The construction contract is the essential document that sets out the rights and responsibilities of each party to the agreement. It is important that you read this document carefully, and that you understand it fully. The legal consequences may not be obvious, so it's important to have a lawyer review it with you. While some compromise may be necessary, you need to be certain that this truly is the agreement you want to make. If it is not, you should not sign the agreement unless the changes you want are made. You will be legally bound by this contract, and it is no defense to say that you didn't read it all the way through.
Zoning and Land Use
Property owners are not entirely free to do whatever they want with their property. Most property is subject to governmental oversight on the uses to which the property may be put. It is important that property owners are familiar with these zoning and land use restrictions before they attempt any major work on their property.
Disputes between a contractor or a construction company and a customer are all too common. Disputes often arise out of delays in getting the work done, unsatisfactory work, or a customer's failure to make payments. Construction-related disputes can consume a lot of time and money on the part of everyone involved. In many cases, the expense involved in pursuing a dispute is far out of proportion to the money actually at stake.
Hiring a Contractor
The relationship between a property owner and a contractor can work smoothly if both parties are willing to take the steps needed to do so. It can also be a contentious one. It can also work smoothly, if both parties are willing to take the steps needed to do so. An attorney with experience in construction law will help you do what is necessary to make sure things go according to plan.
Very few buildings are completed to absolute perfection, but not every variance in quality will be considered a defect by a court. The defects that are most often pursued are those that reduce the value of a building or that interfere with its use. An attorney with experience in construction law can advise you about how to handle your construction defect claim.