Date Published: October 2, 2023

There is good and not so good in everything and that includes owners of construction projects. If you are a sub contractor, some general contractors may fall into the not so good category. A bad owner at best can squeeze margins and at worst can cause irreparable harm to your company. So how can you protect yourself when entering into a construction contract with a bad owner.

There are a few things you can do to prevent entering into a construction contract with a bad owner:

  • Do your research. Before you sign any contract, it’s important to learn as much as you can about the owner. Ask around for references and check online reviews. If you can, talk to other contractors who have workedprotect yourself when entering into a construction contract with a bad owner with the owner in the past.
  • Get everything in writing. Once you’ve decided to work with an owner, make sure to get everything in writing, including the scope of work, the timeline, the budget, and the payment terms. This will help to protect you in case there are any disagreements down the road.
  • Use a standard contract. There are a number of standard construction contracts available online and from industry organizations. These contracts have been reviewed by lawyers and should protect both you and the owner.
  • Be wary of red flags. There are a few red flags that should indicate to you that an owner may be difficult to work with. For example, if the owner is unwilling to sign a contract, or if they are constantly changing the scope of work, these are signs that you may want to reconsider working with them.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Trust your gut. If you have a bad feeling about a particular owner, it’s probably best to listen to your gut. There are plenty of other owners out there who will be easier to work with.
  • Don’t be afraid to walk away. If you’re not happy with the terms of the contract, or if you’re having reservations about the owner, don’t be afraid to walk away. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you do find yourself in a situation where you’re working with a bad owner, it’s important to document everything and to communicate with them in writing. If you’re having trouble coming to an agreement, you may want to consider mediation or arbitration.

Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect and to be paid fairly for your work. If you’re not getting that from an owner, finish the contract and move on. is a service of AssuredPartners one of the largest and fastest growing insurance agencies in the nation. Representing over a dozen surety bond companies, is the premier provider of construction related surety bonds nationwide, since 2003.

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