General Contractors

May 15, 2013 4:48 PM | Posted by Andrew Brought

Today's guest post is courtesy of Andrew Brought, a partner with Spencer Fane Britt & Browne, LLP's Environmental Group.

If you manage or perform renovations, repairs, or painting activities on the exterior or interior of public building or commercial buildings, you should be aware that EPA is currently evaluating whether and how to regulate such activities in public buildings or commercial buildings constructed before 1978 that pose lead-based paint hazards. On Monday, May 13, 2013, EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register that it is seeking public comment on this topic until July 12, 2013, and will host a public meeting at EPA’s headquarters on June 26, 2013.

May 3, 2013 4:40 PM | Posted by Admin

As a construction professional, it's likely you've had your fair share of experience with bonds (such as payment bonds, performance bonds, contract bonds and contractor license bonds), but understanding the purpose of surety bonds can sometimes be difficult to grasp for even the most experienced contractor.

Today's guest post is courtesy of Sara Eisenberg, Director of Educational Outreach at Sara will explain why it is so important for construction professionals to understand the bonding process and how you can become more established in the industry by making sure you know the bond that's required for projects before you even submit a bid.


April 16, 2013 1:58 PM | Posted by Admin


I'm currently wrapping up a great weekend at the American Planning Association’s (APA) National Planning Conference in Chicago, Illinois. For the MCL Blog readers unfamiliar with this event, the APA hosts an annual development conference for planning professionals and representatives from communities all over the United States. The five-day conference offers seminars on a broad range of topics, from common planning problems like the use of economic development incentives, to some unique regional issues, such as whether roosters and goats should be allowed under a city's urban agriculture ordinance. (Think Portland!)

April 8, 2013 2:25 PM | Posted by Admin

I am frequently asked this question by both contractors and commercial property owners. Generally, owners of commercial property (at least in Missouri and Kansas) will not be liable for contracts entered into by their tenants unless the tenant is acting as an agent of the owner, or the lease requires the tenant to make certain improvements that enhance the value of the property.

March 11, 2013 3:57 PM | Posted by Admin

It’s that time of year again: the legislature is back in session, and a host of bills are moving through the Kansas House and Senate. Recently, I received a legislative update from the Kansas Society of Professional Engineers concerning Senate Bill No. 54. Given the content of the bill, I was surprised to learn there are two proposed amendments currently being discussed in the capital.

February 26, 2013 11:42 AM | Posted by Admin
The recent snow storms in the Midwest and the possibility of ongoing weather interruptions this week have many business owners facing issues such as lost productivity and client service interruption. Most business owners should be wondering: “Is there anything I do to prevent lost productivity and potential job completion problems?”  Here at, we’ve come up with a few tips for providing outstanding service to construction projects/ clients during inclement weather.
February 12, 2013 2:50 PM | Posted by Admin


It is not often that the Kansas Supreme Court reverses Kansas judicial precedent and offers new avenues for plaintiffs to pursue claims. What does this mean for contractors? In short, it means a residential home owner can now make claims against a contractor for breach of contract and/or negligence.

January 17, 2013 11:30 AM | Posted by Admin

I often receive calls from my construction clients asking "How long do I have to file a mechanic’s lien in Kansas?" The solution to this dilemma is to file a Notice of Extension of Lien with the Clerk of the District Court in the county where the project is located.

December 27, 2012 3:23 PM | Posted by Admin

There are times when an owner may want to sell their real property during a construction project. As an owner, what are the key issues you should consider? As the general contractor, what is likely to be requested by the owner and by the buyer’s lender? This blog post addresses some of the larger issues that will need to be resolved in the transaction and should provide a general roadmap of how to structure the process.

November 21, 2012 10:51 AM | Posted by Admin


Many of the construction disputes I am involved with involve a claim for lost profits and overhead.  The typical situation is where one party (often the owner) alleges a breach and then terminates either the general contractor or the subcontractor.  The terminated party then makes a claim for lost profits and overhead. The two questions  usually asked by contractors and subcontractors in these situations are: (1) “Am I entitled to lost profit and overhead damages” and (2) “How are they calculated?”

September 11, 2012 4:24 PM | Posted by Admin

As a contractor, architect, engineer or project manager, chances are you’ve been in a difficult position relating to the sharing of information on the job site. With the recent advances in technology, you’ve probably wondered if there are options to help better manage your time when dealing with plans and plan revisions. If so, you’ll be happy to know “there’s an app for that.”

August 23, 2012 4:37 PM | Posted by Admin


Recently, I attended an ABA seminar entitled “Minority Contracting Programs: A Growing Criminal Risk to Corporations.” The program touched a variety of MBE/WBE/DBE issues, but what really caught my attention was the concept of the “ostrich jury instruction.” This instruction may be given to jurors in criminal cases involving contractor fraud in obtaining government contracts with set-aside programs.


August 16, 2012 3:23 PM | Posted by Admin

Those AIA General Conditions Are Really Important!

One of the nice things about using the American Institute of Architect’s (“AIA”) construction documents is that courts have given us ample guidance on how to construe the various clauses within each family of documents.  On August 3, 2012, the Kansas Court of Appeals in Neighbors Construction Co, Inc. v. Woodland Park at Soldier Creek, LLC offered us a little more insight into how the AIA General Conditions work in regards to settling payment disputes between the owner and the general contractor.

June 5, 2012 1:32 PM | Posted by Dave Seitter

In  Ribarchak v. Municipal Authority of the City of Monongahela (Penn.), a prime contractor submitted a bid to a public authority, identifying a specific subcontractor in its bid.  The public authority accepted the prime’s bid and awarded it a contract. The prime later substituted the named subcontractor with another subcontractor, and the named subcontractor sued for breach of contract.  
March 22, 2012 3:30 PM | Posted by Admin

I was asked to review a recent case from New Jersey captioned “ Vollers Excavating and Construction, Inc. v. Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania (March 5, 2012). It appears to stand for the proposition that a bank is not liable to a subcontractor on a job where the construction borrower of the bank, a general contractor, filed for bankruptcy leaving the subcontractor without a remedy. After reviewing the case, the loan documentation clearly indicated the loan proceeds would not be subject to the claims of any subcontractor.