Everybody’s done it. You go to spell a word that you’ve written down a thousand times before, and for some unknown reason, this time, it looks wrong and you’re not sure if it’s correct or not. We do the same with familiar addresses, phone numbers, and names as well. How is it possible for this phenomena to happen to all of us? Answer… we’ve been on auto pilot for years, not really paying attention to what’s literally there. Most of the time we don’t need to. We’ve programmed ourselves from memory.
How about another example? During the holiday season, songs and expressions abound with the phrase “Christ The King” or “King of Kings.” This is a political title, and yet most people pay no serious attention to what it may literally mean. I believe that it is safe to say that for most people, Christian or not, Jesus is simply perceive as a spiritual leader or figure head who show his followers, by example, the way to a higher moral ground.
We’re all aware that the meaning of words can undergo a perceptive change or become lost over time within the conversational exchanges of everyday life. For instance, slang words like: Gay, Cool, Hot, Sick, Bad, Fine, etc. are intended to mean something very different than their literal definitions would suggest. So too is the resulting outcome of the word “Contractor” or “Contracting.” Most people understand it to mean someone licensed by the state to engage in the practice of construction within the building trades, and although this is often the case, the literal definition is actually based on a legal term… “Contract.” You know, the things that lawyers are usually paid big money to compose as a binding, written agreement between two parties.
Don’t kick yourself if that perception escaped your attention, it did mine as well. In fact, this insight was passed on to me by a fellow General Contractor that I happened to meet at a breakfast place one early morning. Ever since then I realized just how important it is for each party to keep their mind focused from the legal perspective when entering into a “Contract” to complete the agreed upon construction project for a client. The operative word in that last sentence being… “Agreed.”
So, the big question is, “What side are you on?” To a certain degree, it really shouldn’t matter, that is unless you enjoy arguing over what was understood verses what was expected. On the one hand each party is motivated by their own interest, on the other hand a “Good” contract is fair, a “Win-Win,” designed to benefit both parties equitably. Greed and selfishness will only serve to promote conflict, and history seems to indicate that everybody ends up a loser in court, even if you are granted a judgment in your favor.
Future blogs will discuss finer details within a well written contract, but for now the main insight I wish to point out is that each side of the isle should approach construction projects from a legal perspective, in order to ensure the mutual benefit of both parties. For the sake of clarity, Building Contractors should be sure to include all the services that will “Not” be performed within the contract, as well as those the will be. And clients should not expect to get something for nothing by justifying desires that may fall within arguable gray areas just to satisfy their wants at another person’s expense. In short don’t be in a rush to build, as much as it is more important to be thorough when composing a the necessary contract.
Thanks for reading. I’m Thump’r with Blue Collar Builders
Remember, – “If you’re going to make it… make it right!”