The Enforceability of Liquidated Damages Clauses

  To be enforceable, a liquidated damages provision must be a reasonable estimate of the damages an owner would incur if the contractor fails to complete the project by the required completion date. If the liquidated damages amount is unreasonable and considered an attempt to coerce or penalize the contractor, the clause will be deemed an unenforceable “penalty.”

Planning for a Successful International Expansion

The reasons for contractors' cross-border expansion range from supporting an existing customer’s request and acquiring a new business to participating in a joint venture and diversifying economic risks from a regional perspective. In any international expansion scenario, several key factors must be considered to improve the likelihood of success.

’Tis the Season for Another Shutdown?

  For a year that started with a bipartisan leap to avert the fiscal cliff, members of Congress are leaving town without much to show for 12 months of work. In fact, the 113th Congress is on track to be the least prolific since the “do-nothing Congress” of 1947-1948, surpassing even its immediate predecessor in overall legislative futility.

BIM Versus Traditional Methods for Jobsite Layout

  Many project designs use a 3-D modeling program for planning, estimating, procurement, clash detection and other important tasks. Designing to this level of detail helps the project run more efficiently and stay on budget.

Small Contractors Poised to Take Big Hit on Health Insurance Rates

As designated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), seven major changes in the small group market that take effect in January 2014 (or at the time of a non-grandfathered company’s first renewal in 2014) will have a disproportionately negative impact on subcontractors

Going Beyond Code to Maximize Reliability of Emergency Backup Power

  In many cases, following existing codes regarding where to place electrical equipment such as generators, fuel tanks and other critical electrical system components are not enough. Evaluation of the lay of the land, the local weather history and proximity to rivers, streams, and coastlines should be part of the design and installation process.

Build a Deck for Life

For jobs involving decking and railing, material choice plays a prominent role in the project’s durability. While wood was the  traditional decking choice for many applications given its low upfront costs, contractors now frequently install composite decking, which provides a long-term cost savings given its greater durability and less intensive maintenance requirements.

Choosing Vehicle Safety Features and Equipment

  While today’s safety features are more sophisticated and effective than ever before, choosing the right features and equipment has become a lot more complicated. Businesses with a fleet of vehicles can easily become overwhelmed by the variety of options and choices in safety features and equipment and end up paying too much or not getting the best protection.

Reimbursement Can Cost More Than a Company-Owned Fleet

  One reason company-provided vehicles might be more advantageous than reimbursement is the increasing availability of vehicles with smaller, more efficient engines, resulting in lower fuel spend. In addition, some employees that are reimbursed may be driving vehicles that are not very reliable and require frequent repairs that may not be completed by the most qualified technician.

How to Determine If Commercial Clients Are Creditworthy

When it comes to the creditworthiness of large customers or contracts, the evaluation should include reports from multiple credit bureaus, as each one has its own network of reporting companies and its own credit scoring methods. Unfortunately, they also have their own inaccuracies. Using reports from multiple bureaus provides a more balanced and complete view of the prospective client, thereby reducing the risk involved in credit decisions.


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