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Understanding Roles Of Participants In Florida Construction Projects


There are countless tasks, duties, and rights involved with a typical Florida construction project, and it takes multiple parties to fulfill their end of the bargain to get things through to completion. Definitions in Florida construction laws describe some of these roles, though the legal terminology is usually not as important on the job site as the reality of the position. The details are extremely important from the perspective of payments and specifications, as well as for liability purposes if something goes wrong with the project.

Even seasoned construction professionals and property owners could use a review on the roles of the participants. While you should always trust a Florida construction lawyer with legal details and disputes, some background terminology is useful.

Property Owner: What seems to be such a simple concept is actually quite complicated, since the owner may not hold title to the property outright. This person or company could be a developer or lessee, but the entity stands in the position of a property owner for the construction project. The most important duty is making payments according to the contract.

 Design Professionals: These are the architects, engineers, interior and landscape designers that take the owner’s vision and create specifications around it. Their role is critical during pre-construction and development phases to ensure compliance with building codes and construction standards. However, design professionals also conduct inspections to ensure all contractors are complying with the specs. Because they work closely with the property owner, architects and engineers are often acting as agents.

 General Contractor: The property owner will hire a firm to perform the work and furnish supplies for the construction project. The general contractor, in turn, retains subcontractors and materials suppliers to complete all required tasks. The GC may act as a construction manager before and during work, ensuring all tasks are completed on time and within budget.

 Subcontractors: The companies hired by the GC provide specialized, skilled labor services as required by the project specifications. Subtractors include:

  • Plumbers;
  • Electricians;
  • HVAC;
  • Landscaping companies;
  • Roofers; and,
  • Many others.

The important factor with subcontractors is that they are not in privity of contract with the owner, so the property owner may not even know they exist.

Suppliers: These are companies that sell and deliver materials for the project, but do not perform work. Depending on the terms of the contract, suppliers may have some discretion in choosing materials. Like subcontractors, they are not in privity of contract with the owner, so the right to payment comes through mechanics liens.

Our Florida Construction Law Attorneys Can Provide Details

Knowing who does what on a construction project is important, so a basic understanding of these roles and relationships is helpful. However, when it comes to disputes over defects, specifications, and liability, legal counsel is critical. For more information, please contact Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. You can contact our offices in Jupiter, FL by calling 561-626-8880 or visiting us online. We can set up a consultation to learn more about your circumstances.


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