Impact of COVID-19 on Construction Projects?

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In light of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on all industries throughout the world, this article will discuss how a force majeure clause could impact a construction project. Although outside of the standard form construction contracts (i.e. CCDC contracts) each contract will likely have its own specific language relating to force majeure events.…


Proposed Simplification of the Builders Lien Act

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The current version of the Builders Lien Act, SBC 1997, ch. 45 (the “Act”) is legislation put into place by the Province to provide security and certainty for parties engaged in the construction of improvements. Unfortunately, the Act contains a number of provisions that make it difficult to understand and in some cases difficult to…


Limitations on the use of Progressive Release and Statutory Declarations

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Section 7 of the Builders Lien Act allows for what is commonly known as the progressive release of the holdback funds during the course of a project. These provisions of the Act are commonly used on larger projects to allow subcontractors to receive the holdback funds in relation to their specific work by requesting the…


Dealing With a Builder’s Lien

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A builder’s lien is a legal interest that can be registered on title to a property as security for an alleged debt for work or materials in relation to an improvement. Having a lien placed on the title to your property can come as a shock and can cause issues for the owner of the…


Negotiating Renovation Contracts Reduces the Risk of Being Ripped Off

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The media has recently reported on RCMP warnings regarding supposed repair contractors offering discounted and shoddy or fraudulent work. Although it is always tempting to try to keep costs as low as possible, it is important to have an up-front discussion about the scope and nature of the agreement and to reduce the agreement to…


Builders Lien Holdbacks

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The Builders Lien Holdback is a point of confusion amongst parties involved in all types of construction projects. The holdback is in place to limit the liability of parties in the payment chain of a project while setting aside some funds for unpaid parties lower on the chain. Many believe that a holdback is not…


Handling Changes During Construction

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Changes to the scope of work are one of the most disputed areas in construction projects. It’s often an issue because changes usually increase costs and the parties dispute over who should cover the costs. This type of conflict can stem from many factors. A common cause is a lack of clarity or understanding of…


Foreshore Rights, Docks and Retaining Walls

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A number of years ago I wrote an article about the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources’ decision to direct additional resources towards reviewing foreshore rights and enforcing the use and construction of docks, retaining walls and other structures along the shoreline. Giving the ongoing flood event in the Okanagan, it seems an opportune…


Construction Agreements Need Modernizing Too

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Changes in technology, construction practices and building codes are the primary focus of modernization within the construction industry. However, companies should also take the time to periodically review their construction agreements to ensure the agreements: (a) are up to date on changes in the law; (b) reflect how the company expects a job to proceed;…