Coping with the Coronavirus Crisis: Are Construction Project Delays Excused?

By Construction, Coronavirus

The current health crisis has impacted nearly every aspect of our economy.   And while certain construction activities have been deemed to be “essential services” in Maine, many projects have been halted or significantly delayed.  Government restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the Coronavirus have derailed supply chains, limited available workforces, and prevented necessary inspections from occurring.  In addition, social distancing and health and safety requirements on the jobsite have further slowed work.  In light of these unprecedented challenges, many contractors are left to wonder if these delays can be excused. Read More

Preserving Your Lien Rights: Be Sure to Secure Your Mechanics’ Lien Rights During the Coronavirus Crisis

By Construction, Coronavirus

The spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks is likely to impact construction projects across the state.  While the State of Maine and local governments have deemed many construction activities essential, payments to contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers are likely to slow due to unprecedented economic uncertainty.  As a result, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers should take steps to protect their payment rights. Read More

Impact Of COVID-19 Orders On New Hampshire Contractors: Is Construction an “Essential” Service?

By Construction, Coronavirus

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the State of New Hampshire has issued various emergency orders aimed at reducing the spread of the Coronavirus.  For example, on March 26, 2020, the Office of the Governor signed Emergency Order #17 Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04, which substantially limits the activities of “non-essential” services state-wide through May 4, 2020. Read More

Impact Of COVID-19 Orders On Maine Contractors: Is Construction an “Essential” Business?”

By Construction, Coronavirus

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Maine and local governments have issued emergency orders aimed at combating the transmission of the Coronavirus in our communities.  For example, on March 24, 2020, the Office of the Governor issued An Order Regarding Essential Businesses and Operations, substantially limiting the activities of “non-essential” businesses and operations state-wide.  On that same day, the City of Portland issued a Proclamation Declaring Continued State of Emergency and Requirement to Stay at Home, also limiting the activities of non-essential businesses and operations within the City of Portland.  Central to both orders is the requirement that all non-essential businesses and operations cease activities that are public facing, and essentially close their physical workspaces and facilities. Read More

Maine’s Double Payment Defense: What Subcontractors Need to Know

By Construction

When a person provides labor, material, or services to a residential construction project without a contract with the owner (e.g., subcontractors or suppliers), Maine’s mechanic’s lien law provides a “double payment” defense for the homeowner.  Under Maine law, most residential subcontractor and supplier liens can only be enforced to the extent that there is a “balance due” for the labor, materials, and/or services covered by the lien to the person with whom the owner has a contract with (e.g., general contractor).  In other words, if a homeowner has paid his or her general contractor for the work that is the basis of the lien, the lien will not be enforceable.  The homeowner is protected from having to pay for the subcontractor’s or supplier’s work twice.  A subcontractor or supplier lien will only be enforceable to the extent that the homeowner has not paid for the work. Read More

What’s My Defense?  New Hampshire Statute Provides List of Contractor Defenses to Defect Claims

By Construction

As we discussed in a prior blog post, New Hampshire’s residential construction statute provides contractors with a statutory right to notice of claimed defects prior to being sued.  This statute, however, also provides contractors with another benefit that is often overlooked.  It contains an extensive list of things that residential contractors will not be liable for.  Specifically, NH RSA 359-G provides that residential contractors are not liable for damages caused by: Read More

Contractors’ Right to Notice: New Hampshire’s Residential Construction Statute Requires Homeowners to Provide Notice of Defects Prior to Suing

By Construction

Under New Hampshire law, homeowners are generally required to provide notice of any claimed construction defects prior to filing a lawsuit against their residential contractor.  The purpose of this law is to “encourage the out-of-court resolution of disputes between homeowners and contractors relative to residential construction defects.” N.H. RSA § 359-G. Assuming the contractor has preserved this right to notice (by including required language in its contract), homeowners must provide at least 60 days’ notice of any claimed defects prior to filing a lawsuit. Read More