Changing the windows in your co-op or condo building can be a traumatic experience. Not only is the
overall building affected, but the interiors of the individual apartments are affected as well. Even if the job goes smoothly, there are bound to be complaints from residents due to inconvenience and minor property damage. Major problems with the overall project and timeliness of completion can result in serious repercussions for everyone. If there are delays, shareholders or unit owners may start to complain. The board of directors may even worry that delays and inconvenience will result in disgruntled shareholders not paying maintenance.
By their nature, window installation projects always involve a lot of money. The fees incurred when the contract is signed are always large because windows have to be manufactured and ordered. A lot of money is expended before the building actually sees what it has gotten for its money. For all of these reasons, it is especially important to spend the time and money to have an attorney knowledgeable in this area negotiate and prepare a contract for the work, and to have the contract signed by both parties before any work is done.
An attorney should review the specifications before they are sent out for bids. Most specifications go beyond stating how the work will be done; they also cross over into legal issues, such as insurance, bonding, termination and final payment. Once the contractors have bid based on these documents, the co-op or condo is locked into these provisions and they will be included in the contract. Unless your attorney is involved from the start, your contract may not be as ironclad as it should be.
Selecting a Contractor