McFadden Law Offices

 

3055 College Heights Blvd., Suite 2B
Allentown, PA 18104
Phone: 610-821-3009
Fax: 610-821-9425
Email: info@mcfaddenlawpa.com

      Jamie Michael McFadden, Esq. & Robert C. McFadden, Esq. Of Counsel
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McFadden Law Offices
 

Construction & Contract Law - Residential & Commercial

Our office provides legal representation to property owners, contractors and subcontractors in all areas of construction law, including but not limited to:

  • Agreement/Contract – Review, Drafting & Negotiations
  • General Contractor/Subcontractor – Transactions & Disputes
  • Land Owner/Contractor - Transactions & Disputes
  • Home Improvements- Transactions & Disputes
  • Payment Issues & Mechanics Lien Claims

Why should I have a lawyer review my construction agreement or contract?

Quite simply, because it is very important to get it right. For most people the construction of a new home or improvements to their existing home is a large, if not the largest, financial expense they will ever incur. There are also many design, material and construction details that are of great importance to the proposed owner or existing owner of the home. Correcting construction mistakes can be very costly. This is why it is important for both the owner and the contractor to get it right at the very beginning of the relationship.

While construction of a new home or commercial building involves a certain amount of trust, both parties to the agreement must know exactly what their obligations and responsibilities are to each other so that there is not a misunderstanding that results in a break down of the relationship or a dispute. This all starts with a well written agreement or contract.

Is it costly to have a contract reviewed or written by a lawyer?

No. Although every transaction is different, most times the legal work involved can be done in a matter of a few hours for a few hundred dollars. The cost of reviewing and negotiating changes to an agreement or contract is usually far less than the cost one incurs if it is not done right.

In fact, the cost of being involved in a dispute or litigating a construction contract can be significant. This is not only true of the financial costs but also of the time lost and emotional cost and impact it can have when it involves the very home that one is living in.

Can I draft my own contract?

Yes, you can, but the fact is most people do not have the knowledge, training and experience to do it correctly. The words and terms used in contracts, have for hundreds of years, been defined by our courts to mean certain things when referring to construction matters. Further, some terms in contracts, including those involving home improvements, public works projects and contractor/subcontractor payment terms, have been specifically defined under the law by the Pennsylvania Legislature. These laws are ever evolving and can change significantly over time. The following are just some of the Pennsylvania laws that must be addressed when drafting construction contracts:

  • The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
  • The Contractor/Subcontractor Payment Act
  • The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act
  • The Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act

Many of these laws require that certain terms must be in contracts and that other terms commonly used in the past are no longer allowed to be included in contracts. Failure to follow these laws can result in the person or business using the contract being responsible for significant penalties or being exposed to unnecessarily liability and potential claims.

What if I am involved in a construction dispute or litigation?

Our office has represented many companies and individuals in disputes. We have helped successfully resolve many of these cases without the necessity of litigation.

However, when a dispute can not be resolved without litigation, our office, if necessary, will move swiftly, vigorously and aggressively to pursue appropriate legal action on your behalf. We have obtained many successful results for our clients. Below are some of those cases:

A home owner against home builder, subcontractor & heating system manufacturer:

Lambert v. Everett Custom Homes, Inc.: Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas

In this case our client’s new home was damaged by a defective Heating System. We obtained a successful Arbitration Award in an amount over $15,000.00

A property owner against a contractor:

Rosenblatt v. Odenheimer: Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas
http://opinions.lccpa.org/PDFs/OPS51/LCCPA_OP_129384994.pdf

In this case our client’s property was severely damaged by the negligent work of a contractor. We obtained a JURY VERDICT for our client of $95,000.00.


A subcontractor against a general contractor (Contractor/Subcontractor Payment Act):

Imperial v. Rizzetto: Superior Court Opinion
www.aopc.org/OpPosting/Superior/out/A17042_07.pdf

In this case, that was reported in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly, we obtained a judgment for our client, a subcontractor, against the general contractor for not only 100% of the amount owed for the work performed by our client, but also a significant penalty, interest & all attorney fees for a total recovery of over $400,000.00.


A home builder defending a claim by a home buyer:

Ding v. Chesapeake Homes, Ltd., et al: Northampton County Court of Common Pleas
http://courtopinions.northamptoncounty.org/PDF/C-0048-CV-2005-9070.pdf

In this case our client was defending claims of specific performance and unfair trade practices. We were successful in getting the unfair trade practices claim dismissed and having no damages awarded to the home owner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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