June 12, 2018

Creating & Maintaining Profitability in Your Construction Business,
Part 1

Session Description
In Part 1 of this series Bill is Joined by attorney and arbitrator Mary S. Jones. The instructors will guide the participants through the maze of creating effective contract language by thoroughly discussing the basic components of construction agreements. The construction contract will refer to the scope of work as described and specified in the plans and other construction documents. The plans will state that all work must be performed according to the codes and the owner's project manual. The project manual describes all equipment to be installed. The equipment manufacturer publishes absolute requirements for installation.

By the time this trail of documents is complete, the contractor has agreed to abide by thousands of pages of very specific details referenced within a four page contract. Participants will develop a strong understanding of all of the peripheral provisions included in the contract merely by referring to them. There will be an exploration into the risks of nebulous and vague terminology written into agreements that can potentially strip the project of its profitability.

The instructors will then turn their attention to the examination of the various project delivery systems and the associated risk to all of the parties. Finally the presenters will discuss the pros and cons of Delays and Changes and the possible unforeseen consequences. Profitability is drained from the project through the course of casual and seemingly harmless oral changes between subcontractors and the owners. Numerous case studies will amplify how quickly and easily a contractor can lose control of the cost and scope of a project.

Learning Objectives

  • Gather new information on using contract language to safeguard profitability
  • Learn how to identify historical risks and address them in the contract
  • Learn to establish internal policies to spread the culture of profitability to every member of the firm.
  • Discover the risks and rewards of various project delivery models.
  • Learn to document modifications to the contract after the job starts.

June 19, 2018

Creating & Maintaining Profitability in Your Construction Business,
Part 2

Session Description
In Part 2 of this series the instructors will focus on managing the risks associated with code compliance, specifications and the nebulous term of "Industry Standards." Additionally, managing all communication and documentation will be explored so that the contractor is never confronted by the irate owner who lost track of how much the project was going to cost.

Avoiding the confrontation of the final invoice will be presented in detail with suggested formats to keep the owners fully apprised of the budget and progress of the job. The challenge of accomplishing the work within the confined environment of a budget and schedule may pale in comparison to the challenge of getting paid. The presenters will discuss the available remedies for collecting funds due during the course of construction and after the job is complete. Although substantial diversity exists from state to state regarding the application of mechanics lien laws, a detailed discussion of the pros and cons will attempt to bring clarity to this extremely powerful body of laws. After the job is finished, paid for and occupied, the issues of warranties may rise up to once again rob the contractor of earned profits. Indemnification language from the contract may be the lifeboat to save the builder's profits.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine the pitfalls of implementing the work
  • Learn the difference between industry standards vs. contractual duties.
  • Learn to establish internal policies regarding job site conversations and the possible duties and warranties they impose on your company.
  • Discover the risks of failing to monitor costs and charges.
  • Be able to evaluate material specifications for future problems.
  • Develop the skills to manage warranties and subcontractors' ongoing duties.

Date: July 26, 2018

Creating & Maintaining Profitability in Your Construction Business,
Part 3

Session Description
In Part 3 of this series the panel of experts including Bill Dexter and Mary S. Jones, will guide the participants through the benefits and techniques of utilizing a strong and effective alternative dispute resolution policy. Once provided for in the contract, the "Disputes" clause between the parties will eliminate the possibility of litigation. However, this alone does not guarantee a smooth road through disputes. The presenters will emphasize the need to develop good oral communication and negotiation skills to keep the project and all the participants on speaking terms and moving productively toward the completion of the project.

Learning Objectives

  • Gather latest information of alternative dispute resolution
  • Learn the benefits of appointing a project neutral before signing a contract
  • Learn to establish internal policies regarding dispute negotiations
  • Discover the technique of transferring costly risks away from your company

September 25, 2018


Presented by Tony Smith and Bill Dexter

As the popularity and demand for sustainable buildings grows, so is the frequency of Green Litigation. Builders, Designers and product manufacturers are quickly learning that the Green Zone is actually a minefield of litigation risks. More than the emerging Green Building codes such as California’s Cal-GREEN and the international IgCC codes, building professionals are being confronted with hundreds of local mandates that impose far-reaching and often ambiguous requirements for environmentally friendly features. The traditional scope of the codes to achieve Health, Safety and Welfare goals has now engaged in measures to safeguard the global environment with vague and undefined requirements. This program focuses on the key issues of risk avoidance on sustainable design projects, giving design and construction firms the tools to maintain their economic viability in the developing “green” market. The program will cover risk management from the schematic phase of design through the certificate of occupancy and provide valuable guidelines to design professionals as well as contractors.