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    Ashburn, Virginia

    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".


    Construction Expert Witness Contractors Licensing
    Guidelines Ashburn Virginia

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


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

    Ashburn Virginia Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

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

    Ashburn Virginia Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

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

    Ashburn Virginia Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

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

    Ashburn Virginia Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

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

    Ashburn Virginia Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

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

    Ashburn Virginia Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10

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

    Ashburn Virginia Construction Expert Witness 10/ 10


    Construction Expert Witness News and Information
    For Ashburn Virginia


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    ASHBURN VIRGINIA CONSTRUCTION EXPERT WITNESS
    DIRECTORY AND CAPABILITIES

    The Ashburn, Virginia Construction Expert Witness Group is comprised from a number of credentialed construction professionals possessing extensive trial support experience relevant to construction defect and claims matters. Leveraging from this considerable body of experience, BHA provides construction related trial support and expert services to the nation's most recognized construction litigation practitioners, Fortune 500 builders, commercial general liability carriers, owners, construction practice groups, and a variety of state and local government agencies.

    Construction Expert Witness News & Info
    Ashburn, Virginia

    Connecticut Court Holds Unresolved Coverage Issues Makes Appraisal Premature

    July 18, 2018 —
    A Connecticut court recently denied a motion to compel appraisal of a claim for coverage of a commercial property damage claim, holding that, where the insurance policy at issue provides for appraisal of disputes related to the value or quantum or a loss suffered—not the rights and liabilities of the parties under the policy—appraisal is premature. The decision relied on law that equates insurance appraisal to arbitration and follows a number of decisions holding that parties cannot expand the scope of appraisal clauses to resolve questions of coverage or liability where, as in this case, those issues are not supported by the applicable policy language. Reprinted courtesy of Hunton Andrews Kurth attorneys Michael S. Levine, Lorelie S. Masters and Geoffrey B. Fehling Mr. Levine may be contacted at mlevine@HuntonAK.com Ms. Masters may be contacted at lmasters@HuntonAK.com Mr. Fehling may be contacted at gfehling@HuntonAK.com Read the court decision
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    Insurer's Motion to Dismiss Complaint for Collapse Coverage Fails

    March 22, 2018 —

    The insurer's motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of the insured's claim for collapse coverage was rejected by the Supreme Court of New York. Parauda v. Encompass Ins. Co. of Am., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 269 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Jan. 25, 2018).

    The insureds submitted a claim to Encompass for damage to the brick siding, or façade, of their home, which was bulging near the front door. Encompass hired H2M Architects and Engineers to inspect the home and issue a report. H2M determined that the brick façade near the front door was separated from the house. Photos showed that the bricks had separated, the mortar joints were cracked, and there were cracks and deterioration in the mortar. H2M concluded that the brick façade was in poor condition and need repairs and/or replacement. H2M concluded that the separation of the brick façade was caused by water infiltration behind the wood trim and brick façade, occurring over a several year period. Encompass denied the claim based upon exclusions for "freezing, thawing," "wear and tear," and "inadequate maintenance."

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    Reprinted courtesy of Tred R. Eyerly, Insurance Law Hawaii
    Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com

    Supreme Court Overrules Longstanding Decision Supporting Collection of Union Agency Fees

    July 02, 2018 —
    In a 5 to 4 opinion, the United States Supreme Court overruled a longstanding decision which required government employees who are represented by but do not belong to a union, to pay a fair share or agency fee to cover the union's costs for collective bargaining activities. In Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, 585 U.S. ___ (2018), the Supreme Court found that requiring such fees from nonconsenting public sector employees violates the First Amendment: "[n]either an agency fee nor any other form of payment to a public-sector union may be deducted from an employee, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay." Reprinted courtesy of Payne & Fears attorneys Amy R. Patton, Blake A. Dillion and Eric C. Sohlgren Ms. Patton may be contacted at arp@paynefears.com Mr. Dillion may be contacted at bad@paynefears.com Mr. Sohlgren may be contacted at ecs@paynefears.com Read the court decision
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    Account for the Imposition of Material Tariffs in your Construction Contract

    March 28, 2018 —
    After Hurricane Irma, I wrote an article that contractors should revisit the force majeure provisions in their construction contracts. Not later. But Now. The force majeure provision is an important provision in a construction contract to account for certain uncertainties that you have NO control over. Recently, another reason has given rise to contractors needing to revisit their force majeure provisions, as well as any provisions dealing with material escalations. Not later. But now. The imposition of raw steel and aluminum tariffs (tax on imported goods) and the back-and-forth regarding a potential trade war leads to the kind of uncertainty that should be assessed as a risk. A risk in both time and cost from material escalations. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Florida Construction Legal Updates
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dadelstein@gmail.com

    Beware of Personal-Liability Clauses – Even When Signing in Your Representative Capacity

    January 31, 2018 —
    When a contract is drafted by a party, the other party expects some level of one-sidedness in favor of the drafter. But there are times when a contract goes too far. There are certain provisions that most persons in the construction industry would find unacceptable, unfair, and beyond the pale – even for a one-sided contract. Such a provision was arguably found in an electrical subcontract at issue in a 2014 opinion by a three-judge panel of the Georgia Court of Appeals. Unfortunately, due to long-standing Georgia law, the panel was forced to apply the provision as written. In the case, a contractor hired a subcontractor to perform the electrical scope of work. When the subcontractor failed to pay a sub-subcontractor, the sub-subcontractor filed suit against the subcontractor, contractor, and the payment-bond surety. The contractor asserted a claim of indemnity against the subcontractor based on the sub-subcontractor’s claim. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David R. Cook Jr., Autry, Hall & Cook, LLP
    Mr. Cook may be contacted at cook@ahclaw.com

    Court Narrowly Interprets “Faulty Workmanship” Provision

    March 28, 2018 —
    In a recent victory in their home state of Connecticut, Saxe Doernberger & Vita partners, Jeffrey Vita and Theresa Guertin, representing owner-developer 777 Main Street, LLC, overcame a summary judgment motion filed by Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company. The Connecticut Superior court refused to adopt the insurer’s broad interpretation of the “faulty workmanship” exclusion in an all-risk builders’ risk insurance policy. In 2014, 777 Main Street, LLC began renovations on the 27-story former Hartford National Bank building in downtown Hartford, converting the property from an office building to a mixed residential and commercial space. During the renovation, a subcontractor hired to perform the cleaning the concrete façade of the building accidentally over-sprayed the cleaning material onto the property’s windows. The subcontractor’s attempts to clean the overspray further damaged the structural integrity and cosmetic look of the windows. As a result, the owner was forced to replace over 1,800 windows, costing millions. Mr. Vita may be contacted at jjv@sdvlaw.com Ms. Guertin may be contacted at tag@sdvlaw.com Read the court decision
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    How Small Mistakes Can Have Serious Consequences Under California's Contractor Licensing Laws.

    February 15, 2018 —
    In construction, some risks have nothing to do with how well a contractor executes a project. Licensing problems is one of these risks. Even a brief lapse caused by an unintentional administrative error can give the CSLB grounds to discipline a contractor, or enable a customer to seek disgorgement and other remedies provided by Business and Professions Code section 7031. This article discusses five tips for mitigating the liabilities associated with licensing problems. Tip 1: Take workers' compensation insurance very seriously. Workers’ compensation insurance problems can trigger license suspension in California. Business and Professions Code section 7125.4 calls for automatic suspension if a contractor cannot provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance for any period of time. This is particularly serious for residential remodelers who claim exemption for workers’ compensation but are later discovered – usually during litigation with a homeowner – to have “off the books” workers helping them. Courts can declare the contractor retroactively unlicensed under these circumstances and order it to disgorge, i.e., to pay back, every penny paid by the customer for the entire project (even for materials). (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 7031, subd. (b); Wright v. Issak (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 1116.) The contractor will also find itself unable to collect any amounts owed to it by the customer. (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 7031, subd. (a).) Tip 2: Watch out for licensing confusion after a merger or acquisition. The economic downturn of 2008 and 2009 resulted in consolidation throughout the building industry. The newly merged or acquired entities often allowed redundant licenses to expire, assuming they could complete all pending projects under the umbrella of the acquiring company's license. Many learned this was a mistake the hard way. Armed with the California Supreme Court's opinion in MW Erectors, Inc. v. Niederhauser Ornamental & Metal Works Co., Inc. (2005) 36 Cal.4th 412, customers began refusing to pay invoices and demanding disgorgement under Business and Professions Code section 7031 because the original contractor did not maintain licensure “at all times.” Many of these customers succeeded. Tip 3: If a license suspension has occurred or is imminent, prepare to prove substantial compliance. Section 7031(a) and (b) give a disgruntled or indebted customer every incentive to capitalize on a contractor's licensing problems. Subdivision (e) is where a contractor must turn to protect its interests if this happens. It allows the contractor to prove “substantial compliance” with licensing requirements and avoid (a)’s and (b)’s sharp edges if it can show the following:
    (1) The contractor “had been duly licensed as a contractor in this state prior to the performance of the act or contract”;
    (2) It “acted reasonably and in good faith to maintain proper licensure”; and
    (3) It “acted promptly and in good faith to remedy the failure to comply with the licensure requirements upon learning of the failure.”
    The Court of Appeal confirmed in Judicial Council of California v. Jacobs Facilities, Inc. (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 882 that a contractor, upon request, is entitled to a hearing on these three factors before it is subjected to disgorgement under Section 7031(b). The legislature amended Section 7031 shortly after the Court of Appeal published this case. The Assembly’s floor analysis went so far as to directly quote the opinion’s observation that penalizing a construction firm for “technical transgressions only indirectly serves the Contractors Law’s larger purpose of preventing the delivery of services by unqualified contractors.” (Assem. Com. on Bus. and Prof., Off. of Assem. Floor Analyses, analysis of Sen. Holden's No. 1793 (2015-2016 Reg. Sess.) as amended August 2, 2016, p. 2.) This echoed an industry consensus that clarifying the law was needed to ensure that properly licensed and law-abiding construction firms were not “placed at fatal monetary risk by malicious lawsuits motivated by personal gain rather than consumer protection.” (Assem. Com. on Judiciary, com. on Assem. Bill No. 1793 (2015-2016 Reg. Sess.), pp. 6-7.) Unfortunately, existing law does not give many examples of what it means to act “reasonably and in good faith to maintain proper licensure” or to act “promptly and in good faith” to fix license problems. A practical approach is for a contractor to work backwards by assuming it will need to prove substantial compliance at some point in the future. Designated individuals within the organization should have clear responsibility over obtaining and renewing the proper licenses and should keep good records. If necessary, these designees can testify about the contractor's internal policies and their efforts to fix licensing problems when they arose. For example, if the suspension resulted from not providing the CSLB proof of workers’ compensation insurance, the designee can testify about the cause (a broker miscommunication, transmission error, etc.) and produce documents showing how he or she worked promptly to procure a certificate of insurance to send CSLB. Saved letters, emails, and notes from telephone calls will provide designees and their successors with an important resource months or years down the line if a dispute arises and the contractor is required to reconstruct the chronology of a licensing glitch and prove its due diligence. Tip 4: Don't sign new contracts unless all necessary licenses are active and any problems are resolved. A recently-formed contractor should not begin soliciting and signing contracts until all required licenses are confirmed as “active.” The first requirement of substantial compliance – being “duly licensed as a contractor in this state prior to the performance of the act or contract” – cannot be met by a contractor that first obtains its license mid-project. (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 7031, subd. (e)(1); Alatriste v. Cesar’s Exterior Designs (2010) 183 Cal.App.4th 656.) A licensed contractor should also consider refraining from signing new contracts if there is any reason to believe its license might be suspended in the near future – especially if the suspension will be retroactive. Having a suspension on record at the time of contracting may complicate the question of whether the contractor was “duly licensed . . . prior to performance” for the purposes of substantial compliance. Tip 5: Any judgment against a contractor can cause license suspension if not handled promptly and correctly. The Business and Professions Code authorizes the CSLB to suspend the license of a contractor that does not pay a construction related court judgment within 90 days. The term “construction related” is interpreted to include nearly all types of disputes involving a contractor. (16 Cal. Code Reg. 868; Pacific Caisson & Shoring, Inc. v. Bernards Bros. Inc. (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 1246, 1254-1255.) This means a contractor should treat a judgment against it for unpaid office rent, for example, as one carrying the same consequences as one arising from a construction defect or subcontractor claim. The contractor should also not assume that filing an appeal, or agreeing with the other side to stay enforcement, automatically excuses the 90-day deadline in the eyes of the CSLB. It does not. A contractor must notify the CSLB in writing before this period expires, then post bond for the amount of judgment, if it wishes to delay payment for any reason. (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 7071.17, subd. (d).) A suspension may result if it does not. This applies even to small claims judgments. Recent case law and the 2016 amendments to Business and Professions Code section 7031 provide some solace to those caught in the dragnet of California's licensing laws. But avoiding these problems altogether is preferable. Consider licensing the foundation of a successful business and deserving of the same attention as the structures a contractor builds. Eric R. Reed is a business and insurance litigator in the Ventura office of Myers, Widders, Gibson, Jones & Feingold, LLP. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Eric Reed, Myers, Widders, Gibson, Jones & Feingold, LLP
    Mr. Reed may be contacted at ereed@mwgjlaw.com

    Lessons Learned from Implementing Infrastructure BIM in Helsinki

    February 07, 2018 —
    Finland’s capital is currently experiencing a construction boom. Old industrial citadels are turning into residential areas with new commercial centers. Consequently, Helsinki needs to build new infrastructure. To improve the efficiency and quality of infrastructure construction, the city has started using BIM, and is now learning how to get the most value from it. Ville Alajoki, Team Leader in Helsinki’s Urban Development Division, is a keen proponent of BIM. “Infrastructure construction is still in its early stages when it comes to using BIM. For the most part, BIM implementation has not been systematic in our city yet. We tend to use it in our own structural design and often in building construction. However, in infrastructure project management, its active individuals who have set the pace,” Ville admits. He believes that the city’s strategy for 2017–2021 will spur the use of new technologies, including BIM. “Helsinki aims to be the city in the world that makes the best use of digitalization,” Mayor Jan Vapaavuori has declared. A good start, but there’s room for improvement. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Aarni Heiskanen, AEC Business Blog
    Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at info@aepartners.fi