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Inside The Nation’s Varying Contractor Licensing Rules — And How They Impact Business

This article originally appeared in Construction Dive Magazine, May, 2017, Reprinted with Permission. In an effort to safeguard their residents against fraud and the chaos that can result from unprofessional behavior or lack of experience and knowledge, most states have some kind licensing procedure in place for professions like lawyers, physicians and real estate agents. However, when it comes to construction contractors — who practice in an industry that is full of life and death scenarios — there is little state-to-state licensing uniformity. How do these regulations vary across the U.S., and is there any indication that a strict regulatory scheme results in a higher level of professionalism and quality among contractors? How licensing rules vary "We see both extremes where it's extremely difficult to get a license, and then on the opposite side where anyone with a hammer and pickup truck can be a contractor," said Chuck Taylor, director of operations for Chicago- area...

Insurance Considerations post-Baltimore

Let me start with the caveat that I am not getting into the political or race issues at the heart of recent events in Baltimore. However, from the point-of-view of someone working in construction and insurance law, the insurance and rebuilding questions created by the protests/riots in these cities is of great interest. Although the specific article here references insurance issues and struggles to rebuild in Maryland, similar concerns and analyses would apply anywhere that such events take place. As the article from Insurance Business America notes, many small businesses have been unable to reopen post damage as they are caught in a web of what is and is not covered under their applicable policies. Many questions loom: does the property insurance policy afford coverage; what about the Business Interruption policy; what are the applicable deductibles? As is typical of any insurance coverage the devil is in the details of the specific...

Concrete Repairs – Some Matters to Consider

Concrete generally consists of three components: (a) water, (b) an aggregate material such as sand, gravel, or stone, and (c) cement. In condominiums, concrete is often used in the formation of the shell of the building, with further support and strength being provided by reinforcing steel located within a condominium’s concrete slabs, balconies, and columns.  Over time, exposure to atmospheric conditions, including but not limited to, items such as chloride ions or carbon dioxide (through a process known as carbonation), may cause or contribute to the corrosion of reinforcing steel located within concrete. Other factors may also contribute to this corrosion process. When this reinforcing steel corrodes rust can form, with a resultant volume that is greater than the volume of the original reinforcing steel. Rust can also adversely affect the bonding between the reinforcing steel and the surrounding concrete, with the potential for cracking, spalling, rupturing, and delamination of...

Cutting-Edge Tools Can Save Owner Headaches…And Money

Construction lawyers throughout the country have long preached the importance of proper construction documentation to owners and developers alike. Comprehensive documentation of a project is essential to protect owners; especially in the quick-build environment we are experiencing now. Fortunately, there are several companies providing powerful tools that are invaluable to the mitigation of claims and overall protection of the owner and/or developer. One example is Multivista, a leader in photographic construction documentation. Multivista offers state-of-the-art construction photography and video documentation. Their products include interactive visual as-built documentation, construction webcams, and inspection-grade photos of the project. Other core competencies include “Facility Management Information,” which is the process of converting documentation manuals and warranty information into an indexed, integrated system that is accessible via computer. Put more simply, imagine if a building manager could scan building components such as doors and windows to immediately pull up installation and warranty information. The result is a...