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Subcontractors: tips on negotiating contracts with general contractors

Posted by attorney Chad Koplien

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These 8 tips will go a long way in helping you to avoid traps that GC's typically set in their contracts. In big contracts, or in dealing with large GC's, you may be given a lengthy subcontractor agreement based on an AIA form, which is designed to favor the GC and disfavor the sub. In my experience, some GC's will negotiate, but most will tell you to take or leave it. With these types of contracts, particularly on the big jobs, it is worth the money to have a lawyer look through it and red line the weasel clauses. If the project is not that big, or, if the GC most likely will not negotiate – it is a business decision on your part whether to assume the significant risks hidden in these weasel clauses. THIS ARTICLE WAS BASED IN PART ON RESEARCH AND INFORMATION CONDUCTED BY DIANE DENNIS, in her article entitled, "Contractor's construction contracts pitfalls to avoid," with all references herein used with express permission. For additional information, check out Diane Dennis' excellent construction form and information website located in the link below. Also, conduct an Internet search for additional articles and information on these issues.

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