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Know how to handle client complaints about construction projects

Dealing with an irate construction client is a challenging undertaking. It might be tempting to just shut down their complaints and cut your losses, but this can be a costly proposition.

Instead of going to battle with the client, you have to consider your reaction and how it will impact your business. One consideration for you is what's included in the contract you signed with the client. You must ensure that you comply with it so that you aren't accused of breach of contract.

What type of buyout offers can you get?

A buyout offer on your business can be exciting. Sometimes, it means that your little start-up has attracted enough attention to be valuable -- in which case, the buyout offer can be a lucrative opportunity that you don't want to miss. In other cases, buyout offers can take you off guard (and may not be so welcome).

Here are some different types of buyouts that can be on the table:

Should you consider buying into a construction franchise?

If you're planning to go into the construction business, you may be considering buying a franchise. Franchises can offer advantages to people who want to run their own business but would like the cache of a brand name behind them and the assistance that a franchise organization with a proven business plan can offer them.

However, as one construction business coach points out, the construction industry is very different from the fast food industry, where franchises abound. You're not going to be selling foot-long sandwiches or hamburgers. Each job is going to be unique.

New California labor laws you need to know about

Being a business owner in California means staying up-to-date on our ever-changing labor laws. Every new year brings a number of new laws that give California workers greater rights and benefits than people in most other states. This year is no exception.

Recently, we discussed a new law impacting how independent contractors are classified. That's just one of a number of labor laws that took effect on Jan. 1. Let's look at some key changes that construction business owners need to follow:

California's gig economy law hits an early speed bump

Labor contracts have been the backbone of vital trust between employers and workers for a century or more. Protections vary by state, as many governments have different histories with different industries that require various levels of protection for both companies and employees. California has long prided itself on attracting some of the best talent in the country with the protections to match.

The new year brings a new law from Sacramento that requires employers of large numbers of freelance workers to offer the traditional employment protections previously reserved for career employees hired under traditional contracts. But two large companies with extensive operations in the Golden State have already sued to prevent the law from taking full effect.

Can expert witnesses help you beat construction defect claims?

California contractors and builders know all too well how a simple construction defect claim can completely ruin their businesses. Building and construction professionals need immediate assistance to contain the possible fallout defect claims can cause. While there are many legal strategies lawyers can use to defend their workmanship, you may also want to consider using expert testimony to strengthen your case.

Expert witnesses can help you build a solid case in construction litigation cases centered on defects. However, because there are so many expert witnesses available to testify, many contractors are not sure what kind of testimony they need. Below, you will find a list of experts that can help sway a court to trust in your side of the claim.

  • General contractors and trade-specific contractors can explain to the court the proper way to approach the various tasks that come with construction.
  • Architectural and design experts might help your case by demonstrating that it was poor design rather than poor workmanship that caused the alleged problem.
  • Soil and soil engineering experts could aid your side of the dispute by explaining how ground movement may have caused any problems that occurred.
  • Building code experts can show the court that you complied with all of the code requirements mandated in the state of California.

Contract disputes can affect your construction company's success

It often seems as if everyone in the U.S. suffers from anxiety about unfair treatment when entering into an agreement or contract with another party. In particular, professionals in the construction industry often experience an unexpected threat of litigation over something that may not be their fault.

Many people automatically assume that construction contractors are only out to make money and are willing to lie or cheat to pad their wages. We know that this is not normal or even acceptable behavior on the part of contractors here in California. Most of you strive to operate your businesses honestly and fairly. With this in mind, it is safe to say that the last thing you expect is for your clients to initiate contract disputes in a legal setting.

Business plan templates can help California beginners

New businesses have been the heart of California since it was founded, although the needs of the citizens and the available resources have changed a bit in modern times. One thing has not changed, however, and that is the need to plan what a business needs and how its assets are deployed to build its future.

Sometimes, you have the start from the basics with a template business plan. These documents can be helpful when founders need to think about early priorities with a little bit of help. In some cases, initial business plans may be made entirely with resources like templates.

New law prevents forced arbitration in employment contracts

A contractor promised work and never came through. A supervisor keeps making inappropriate comments and no one will do anything about it. It feels like the only option is to sue the responsible parties in California civil court. But then you find your contract requires you to rely on arbitration.

Fortunately, that conclusion's days are numbered. The government in Sacramento recently passed Assembly Bill 51, so clauses like this in employment contracts will be illegal starting with the beginning of 2020. The clause added to the California Labor Code by the bill prevents employers from making forced arbitration a condition of employment.

California's contractor economy is changing

California's economy has always been a large and complex entity, and it supports millions of people in hundreds of industries. One level of the economy, often called the "gig economy," is a big part of how people get into and move up through the many jobs that are available.

But freelance and temporary employment are more than they once were. These arrangements used to cover work that would wrap up quickly or employees who needed help entering the job market, but state officials in Sacramento have become concerned employers were using gigs to keep employees from claiming benefits.

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