How to Write a Construction Contract

Construction attorney Karalynn Cromeens walks you through a residential construction contract written just for this course. The template is simple, clear and written in plain English, so you can learn how to make it your own, use it for your business, and ensure projects run smoothly.

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  • Train with a Pro

  • Practical Resources

  • Mobile Access

  • 16 In-depth Lessons

  • Certificate of Completion

  • Affordable and Convenient

Lesson Plan

16 Video Lessons · 43M

  • 1. Introduction and Overview

    Contracts are a staple of construction, and understanding them can give you agency as a small business owner. Karalynn explains why everyone should know their way around a legal agreement.

  • 2. General Information

    Karalynn reviews the three components of General Information: Parties, or who’s involved; Notice, or how the parties plan to communicate; and Project, which specifies name and address.

  • 3. The Work

    The Work details the scope of a project: it’s just a clear description of what is going to be done. Karalynn shows you how to use the simplest language possible to avoid misunderstandings.

  • 4. Schedule

    Schedule disputes are among the most common Karalynn sees in her practice. Learn to set a time frame and two scheduling formats: short term and long term.

  • 5. Excusable Delays

    Learn about Excusable Delays, or Force Majeure, which provides additional time to finish a project when surprises or unforeseen issues arise.

  • 6. Changes In Work

    Establish a clear order of operations between contractor and client so everyone can know what to do if pricing or scheduling needs to change.

  • 7. Payments

    Karalynn shares various aspects of Payments, from payment schedules to retainer requirements. This section details who’s paying whom, and when. Plus: what to include in an invoice.

  • 8. Insurance & Indemnity

    Construction is a risky business, making good insurance essential. Learn how Insurance & Indemnity details a project’s coverage so you can properly protect yourself and your business.

  • 9. Independent Contractor

    Karalynn helps you tell the difference between employees and independent contractors, and shares why every contract should cover employee rights.

  • 10. Default

    Default means that one party didn’t do what they said they were going to do. Learn how contracts tell you what to do in the event of a default, like giving notice before termination.

  • 11. Termination

    All contracts include a list of circumstances that make it okay for one party to end the contract. Learn how to set termination terms in a contract, from designating who receives materials when someone is fired to setting trespassing rules.

  • 12. Dispute Resolution

    Karalynn shares several dispute resolution methods you can put in a contract, from mediation and arbitration to courtroom litigation.

  • 13. Quality of Work & Warranty

    Quality of Work & Warranty sets expectations for the standard of quality. Karalynn explains how warranty timelines work.

  • 14. Will Not Hire

    This small but critical section in a contract protects business owners from competitors looking to poach their employees.

  • 15. Attorney Fees

    Karalynn explains how contracts account for attorney fees and stresses the importance of avoiding litigation.

  • 16. Complete Agreement

    The Complete Agreement section, which all parties sign off on, prevents them from making agreements outside the contract. Karalynn shares why contracts don’t need to be complicated and that equipping yourself with contractual knowledge is helpful with ensuring you have a long-term, successful business.

Who it's for: This course is for business owners and contractors who want a clear understanding of how contracts work in residential construction, and for those interested in creating their own contracts when working with owners, GCs, or subcontractors on various projects.

Key Topics

  • Writing contracts

  • Reading contracts

  • Dispute resolution

  • Schedules and delays

  • Getting paid

  • Change orders

Common Questions

  • What is Copeland?

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    Our training courses give you a foundation in construction fundamentals and trade skills with real-world applications and best practices to help you grow on the job.

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