Abstract: Skilled golf course construction managers know what is in each contract. Use this information to mange construction scope and contractor payments.
Contract management is an important part of efficient golf construction. Construction managers should take an active role in preconstruction contract language. When the owner and contractor sign the contract, the construction manager will live by the contract documents.
Golf course contracts come in many formats. I’ve used the following:
- Handshake Agreements: Watch out for these. I have colleagues who won’t talk to me over simple misunderstandings caused by assumed construction roles.
- Proposal Memos: These work if the proposal includes detailed descriptions of processes and roles used in the construction process. Contractors rarely have the time and capability to develop detailed construction proposals. Be careful of open-ended proposals that encourage approval signatures below the contract total.
- Memo of Understanding: These memorandum formats allow the contractor and owner to identify construction methodology. I’ve sent many out in open format so the owner can modify the document and send it back to me for revisions.
- Form Contracts: You can buy these at any stationary store. Construction industry specific versions often contain irrelevant wording, so if you like this style buy an online, editable version so you can edit as needed. Be careful when changing words, you may corrupt the legal integrity of the document after you change it. You may want to have an attorney approve any revisions. Once you have the content right, save the updated form as a template.
- AIA Contracts: Battle-hardened contract documents written and revised by lawyers. Iron-clad language specifies who does what and if you stray from the rules your in trouble. Often required by corporations and municipalities, they provide no-nonsense project role and procedure identification.
With any contract, read the fine print before signing. Don’t try to sneak in language that you will use to chisel from the contractor. Contractors often respond to these efforts with change orders.