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    Virginia Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: (HB558; H 150; §55-70.1) Warranty extension applicable to single-family but not HOAs: in addition to any other express or implied warranties; It requires registered or certified mail notice to "vendor" stating nature of claim; reasonable time not to exceed six months to "cure the defect".

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    A contractor's license is required for all trades. Separate boards license plumbing, electrical, HVAC, gas fitting, and asbestos trades.

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    Association Directory
    Northern Virginia Building Industry Association
    Local # 4840
    3901 Centerview Dr Suite E
    Chantilly, VA 20151

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    The Top of Virginia Builders Association
    Local # 4883
    1182 Martinsburg Pike
    Winchester, VA 22603

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Shenandoah Valley Builders Association
    Local # 4848
    PO Box 1286
    Harrisonburg, VA 22803

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Piedmont Virginia Building Industry Association
    Local # 4890
    PO Box 897
    Culpeper, VA 22701

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Fredericksburg Area Builders Association
    Local # 4830
    3006 Lafayette Blvd
    Fredericksburg, VA 22408

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Augusta Home Builders Association Inc
    Local # 4804
    PO Box 36
    Waynesboro, VA 22980

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Blue Ridge Home Builders Association
    Local # 4809
    PO Box 7743
    Charlottesville, VA 22906

    Ashburn Virginia Building Expert 10/ 10

    Building Expert News and Information
    For Ashburn Virginia

    U.K. Construction Unexpectedly Strengthens for a Second Month

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    Construction Law Alert: Builder’s Alternative Pre-litigation Procedures Upheld Over Strong Opposition

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    Brooklyn’s Industry City to Get $1 Billion Modernization

    Construction Law Client Alert: California’s Right to Repair Act (SB 800) Takes Another Hit, Then Fights Back

    Cooperation and Collaboration With Government May Be on the Horizon

    U.K. Broadens Crackdown on Archaic Property Leasehold System

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    Five Years of Great Legal Blogging at Insurance Law Hawaii

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    Leveraging from more than 5500 construction defect and claims related expert witness designations, the Ashburn, Virginia Building Expert Group provides a wide range of trial support and consulting services to Ashburn's most acknowledged construction practice groups, CGL carriers, builders, owners, and public agencies. Drawing from a diverse pool of construction and design professionals, BHA is able to simultaneously analyze complex claims from the perspective of design, engineering, cost, or standard of care.

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    Ashburn, Virginia

    Reminder: Always Order a Title Search for Your Mechanic’s Lien

    June 02, 2016 —
    Mechanic’s liens are close to my heart as a construction attorney. These powerful tools for collection have been (and likely will be) discussed often here at Construction Law Musings. In fact, they rated their own page here at this little construction blog. While the form for a mechanic’s lien that is found in the Virginia Code looks simple enough, what goes into that form is key to getting past the initial stage of the mere recording of the lien and moving on to where a lien claimant wishes to go: Payment. Everything from the proper amount of the lien to the timing of filing, the parties named, type of work performed and who signs the lien can trip you up even before you get a chance to have a judge examine your payment claim. In short, this simple form has many pitfalls. On final item that is not often discussed is the description of the property and who the owner is on a project. A mistake on either of these fronts can be fatal as well. Often the “Owner” listed on the construction documents (the contracts, etc.) is not the same as the owner of the real estate to which your lien would attach. Sometimes a company may hire the general contractor as owner and either be a tenant of the property or could be the operating entity, but not the land holder. In either of these scenarios, merely naming the contract “owner” can be a mistake that could cost you your lien. The owner for lien purposes must be the land owner or there will be a problem. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Christopher G. Hill, Law Office of Christopher G. Hill, PC
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    You Are Your Brother’s Keeper. Direct Contractors in California Now Responsible for Wage Obligations of Subcontractors

    January 31, 2018 —
    If there’s one law from the 2017 Legislative Session that’s garnered a lot of attention in the construction press, it’s AB 1701. Under AB 1701, beginning January 1, 2018, for contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2018, direct contractors may be found liable for unpaid wages, fringe or other benefit payments or contributions, including interest, but excluding penalties or liquidated damages, owed by a subcontractor of any tier to their workers. Here’s what you need to know about AB 1701. What code section did AB 1701 amend? AB 1701 added a a new section 218.7 to the Labor Code. To whom does AB 1701 apply? AB 1701 applies to direct contractors only. A direct contractor is defined as a “contractor that has a direct contractual relationship with an owner.” On what types of projects does AB 1701 apply? AB 1701 applies to private works projects only. When does AB 1701 take effect? AB 1701 took effect on January 1, 2018 and applies to all contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2018. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Garret, Murai, Wendel, Rosen, Black, Dean, LLP
    Mr. Murai may be contacted at

    How to Mitigate Lien Release Bond Premiums with Disappearing Lien Claimants

    May 20, 2019 —
    It is one of those dreaded business situations that plagues the construction industry, especially in times of economic downturn—what to do when a lower-tier entity files a lien against a property then disappears. It has happened to countless owners, general contractors, subcontractors, and even some particularly unlucky sub-tier subcontractors and suppliers. Here is how it arises: a project is moving along, then performance or payment issues arise, and a company that is over extended or unwilling to continue work stops performance, walks off the job, and files a lien against the property for whatever amounts were allegedly unpaid. Often, the allegedly unpaid sums were legitimately withheld due to a good faith dispute over payment/performance, and it is not unusual for the defaulting entity to not be entitled to any of the sums claimed in the lien. Regardless, the lien stays on the property, and pressure is applied from the “upstream” entities to the party who contracted with the defaulting entity to “deal” with the lien. Oftentimes, a contract will require the parties to “deal” with a lien by obtaining a lien release bond (“release bond”). For those lucky enough to not have encountered this issue, a release bond is a nifty statutory device whereby a surety agrees to record a release bond for the full claimed amount of the lien, with the release bond substituting in for the liened property, effectively discharging the property from liability under the lien. In other words, the lien is released from the property and attaches to the release bond. If the lien claimant recovers on its lien, it is technically satisfied by the surety providing the release bond (or the party who agrees to indemnify and defend the release bond). In exchange for delivering the release bond, the surety demands yearly premiums be paid on the release bond amount Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Scott MacDonald, Ahlers Cressman & Sleight PLLC
    Mr. MacDonald may be contacted at

    Taylor Morrison v. Terracon and the Homeowner Protection Act of 2007

    June 11, 2014 —
    On January 30, 2014, the Colorado Court of Appeals decided the case of Taylor Morrison of Colorado, Inc. v. Bemas Construction, Inc. and Terracon Consultants, Inc. 2014WL323490. The case addressed a substantial issue of Colorado constitutional law, as well as a variety of procedural issues of potential importance to construction litigation attorneys. Of particular interest is the question of whether the provisions of the 2007 Homeowner Protection Act (“HPA”) are limited in application to contracts between residential homeowners and construction professionals, or whether they have broader application between commercial construction professional parties as well. As discussed below, the Court of Appeals stated that it would not answer the question, and then, separately, implied that the statute might only apply to homeowner transactions – with the resulting exclusion of commercial transactions. However, after its analysis, it left the actual decision of that issue to a future court in a later case. The factual background for the case involved claims of breach of a contract for soils engineering by Terracon Consultants, Inc. (“Terracon”) and negligent excavation work by Bemas Construction, Inc. (“Bemas”). Plaintiff was Taylor Morrison of Colorado (“Taylor Morrison”), the developer and general contractor for a residential subdivision called Homestead Hills. After it constructed many homes, Taylor Morrison began to receive complaints of cracking drywall resulting from foundation movement and it made repairs at significant expense. Taylor Morrison then filed suit against Terracon and Bemas in connection with their respective roles in the original construction. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Buck Mann, Higgins, Hopkins, McLain & Roswell, LLC
    Mr. Mann may be contacted at

    Time to Reform Construction Defect Law in Nevada

    February 21, 2013 —
    The Las Vegas Review-Journal is supporting efforts to reform the state’s construction defect laws. Although the intention was to “protect homeowners from the costs of shoddy workmanship,” they state the laws have instead “enriched lawyers and made housing more expensive.” The take the Las Vegas homeowner association scandal as a sign that reform is needed. A further sign of needed reform is that during a time when new home sales decreased, construction defect claims more than tripled. The editorial notes that “current law allows lawsuits to be brought for cosmetic imperfections that pose no risks.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Design and Construction Defects Not a Breach of Contract

    February 14, 2013 —
    The California Court of Appeals tossed out a breach of contract award in Altman v. John Mourier Construction. The decision, which was issued on January 10, 2013, sent the construction defect case back to a lower court to calculate damages based on the conclusions of the appeals court. The case involved both design issues and construction issues. According to the plaintiffs’ expert, the design plans did not make the buildings sufficiently stiff to resist the wind, and that the framing was improperly constructed, further weakening the structures, and leading to the stucco cracking. Additionally, it was alleged that the roofs were improperly installed, leading to water intrusion. The contractor’s expert “agreed the roofs needed repair, but disputed what needed to be done to repair the roofs and the cost.” The jury rejected the plaintiffs’ claims of product liability and breach of warranty, but found in their favor on the claims of breach of contract and negligence. The plaintiffs were awarded differing amounts based on the jury’s conclusions about their particular properties. Both sides sought new trials. JMC, the contractor, claimed that the jury’s verdicts were “inconsistent in that the relieved JMC of liability for strict products liability and breach of warranty, but found JMC liable for breach of contract and negligence.” The plaintiffs “opposed the setoff motion on the ground that the jury heard evidence only of damages not covered by the settlements.” Both motions were denied. After this, the plaintiffs sought and received investigative costs as damages. JMC appealed this amended judgment. The appeals court rejected JMC’s claims that evidence was improperly excluded. JMC sought to introduce evidence concerning errors made by the stucco subcontractor. Earlier in the trial, JMC had insisted that the plaintiffs not be allowed to present evidence concerning the stucco, as that had been separately settled. When they wished to introduce it themselves, they noted that the settlement only precluded the plaintiffs from introducing stucco evidence, but the trial court did not find this persuasive, and the appeals court upheld the actions of the trial court. Nor did the appeals court find grounds for reversal based on claims that the jury saw excluded evidence, as JMC did not establish that the evidence went into the jury room. Further, this did not reach, according to the court, a “miscarriage of justice.” The court rejected two more of JMC’s arguments, concluding that the negligence award did not violate the economic loss rule. The court also noted that JMC failed to prove its contention that the plaintiffs were awarded damages for items that were covered in settlements with the subcontractors. The appeals court did accept JMC’s argument that the award for breach of contract was not supported by evidence. As the ruling notes, “plaintiffs did not submit the contracts into evidence or justify their absence; nor did plaintiffs provide any evidence regarding contract terms allegedly breached.” The court also did not allow the plaintiffs to claim the full amount of the investigative costs. Noting that the trial court had rational grounds for its decision, the appeals court noted that “the jury rejected most of the damages claimed by plaintiffs, and the trial court found that more than $86,000 of the costs itemized in plaintiffs’ invoices ‘appear questionable’ as ‘investigation’ costs/damages and appeared to the trial court to be litigation costs nonrecoverable under section 1033.5.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Defining a Property Management Agreement

    June 22, 2020 —
    This article will serve as a guide to what is needed in a Property Management Agreement to avoid potential real estate disputes between owners and property managers. What is a Property Management Agreement? With the known volatility in the stock market since the “Dot-com Bubble” in the late 1990’s the Financial Crisis spanning 2007 to 2009, and even today’s global market crash arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic, people have looked to invest in options such as real estate that have proven to be more stable than the fluctuating and uncertain stock market. Today, more than ever, people have recognized the benefits in real estate and diversified their investments to include the ownership of residential or commercial property. This has grown to become a lucrative source of income. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara LLP

    Be Careful When Walking Off of a Construction Project

    November 24, 2019 —
    I am truly grateful that my buddy Craig Martin (@craigmartin_jd) continues his great posts over at The Construction Contractor Advisor blog. He is always a good cure for writer’s block and once again this week he gave me some inspiration. In his most recent post, Craig discusses a recent Indiana case relating to the ever present issue of termination by a subcontractor for non-payment. In the Indiana case, the court looked at the payment terms and determined that the subcontractor was justified in walking from the project when it was not paid after 60 days per the contract. This result was the correct, if surprising. Why do I say surprising? Because I am always reluctant to recommend that a subcontractor walk from a job for non payment if it is possible to continue. This is not so much for legal reasons (not paying a sub is a clear breach of contract by a general contractor) but practical ones. The practical effect of walking from the job is that the subcontractor is put on the defensive. Instead of arguing later that it performed but was not paid, that subcontractor is put in the position of arguing that the general contractor cannot collect its completion related and other damages because it breached first. This is a more intuitively difficult argument and one that is not as strong as the first. Of course, all of this is contingent on the language in your contract (is there a “pay if paid” or language like that in the Indiana case?). Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at