The Construction Contract

A Video Explaining the Construction Contract

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When a construction contract, like every other contract, is unambiguous, the parties’ intent may be determined from the contract alone, and it is the duty of the court—not the jury—to state its meaning.

Construction contracts are governed by the same rules as all other contracts. When a court is called upon to interpret a construction contract its terms are given their ordinary and generally accepted meaning with the court working to give effect to the intent of the parties to the contract unless the contract itself gives special meaning to the contract.

A construction contract should always be written. It should, like all other contracts, set forth in detail the duties and obligations of the parties to the contract. It should communicate the scope of work to be rendered and the extent to which each party is involved in the differing aspects of the project.

Contracts serve as means of documenting the services and assets to be exchanged during the course of a project. The contract is important not only to finalize the deal in the minds of the parties to the construction project, but also to help define the performance of the work and may even determine who bears the tax burden.

A basic construction contract is negotiated by the parties and will be interpreted following the normal rules of contract interpretation.


The construction contract is the most effective means of avoiding disputes between the owner and the builders involved in the construction project. Whether standardized forms are used or the agreement is written to the specifications of the parties by an experienced construction lawyer, the contract is essential to a successful construction effort.

© 2021 – Barry Zalma

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders.

He also serves as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer and more than 54 years in the insurance business.

He is available at and Mr. Zalma is the first recipient of the first annual Claims Magazine/ACE Legend Award. Over the last 53 years Barry Zalma has dedicated his life to insurance, insurance claims and the need to defeat insurance fraud. He has created the following library of books and other materials to make it possible for insurers and their claims staff to become insurance claims professionals.

Go to training available at; articles at,  the podcast Zalma On Insurance at;  Follow Mr. Zalma on Twitter at; Go to Barry Zalma videos at ; Go to Barry Zalma on YouTube-; Go to the Insurance Claims Library –  The last two issues of ZIFL are available at  podcast now available at



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