Claims for Extra Work and Back Charges: A Tale of Two Trades

A claim for “extras” – a claim for payment work done outside the scope of a contract – is one of the most common issues giving rise to disputes on construction projects. Perhaps equally as common are disputes arising from “back charges” levied by one party against another lower down the contractual chain. In the […] Read More
February 12, 2018

Contractor Know Thyself: If you don’t, you may lose your lien

AUTHORED BY: Ryan Krushelnitzky Builders’ liens are “creatures of statute”. A builders’ lien is a new right created by lien legislation that would not otherwise exist at common law.  As such, a lien claimant must bring itself strictly within the statutory framework in order to take advantage of these statutory rights. Justice Khullar’s recent Advantage […] Read More
January 23, 2018

Fatal Errors: The small mistakes that can have a big impact on your lien claim

AUTHORED BY: Matthew Turzansky and Ryan Krushelnitzky The scenario is a fairly common one: a contractor doesn’t get paid, and then proceeds to register a lien on a project, only to later discover a mistake in the Statement of Lien. It could be a typo in the name of the Owner; or it could be […] Read More

Termination Problems: when can you walk away from a contract?

AUTHORED BY: Leah McDaniel and Ryan Krushelnitzky Construction projects don’t always go as planned. Delays, add-ons, and changes to plans are common. Parties can sue when losses occur. When this happens, the contract itself is the key guide to the parties’ obligations. However, sometimes things go very wrong. There are times when matters go so […] Read More
December 21, 2017

Unilaterally amending payment terms by conduct alone…Nice try!

By: Catriona Otto-Johnston and Rob Watson As a contractor, you might find yourself in a situation where the method for calculating payment originally agreed to in the contract becomes unworkable with the actual project scope or existing work-site conditions. Perhaps it would be beneficial to you if the contract contained different payment terms. While a […] Read More

Time is Tickin’ — Limitation Periods and Your Lien

Contributors: Catriona Otto-Johnston & Kendra Heinz You’ve registered a lien; now what? You have to preserve (and prove) your lien. The Builders’ Lien Act (the “BLA”) is rife with limitation periods, many of which, if missed, could jeopardize your lien. However, recent case law suggests that in certain circumstances, failure to meet one or more […] Read More
September 20, 2017

Tips & Traps – Partial Payment from the 10% Holdback

By Catriona Otto-Johnston and Rob Watson Setting the lien fund can be a complicated and drawn out process. As a subcontractor lienholder, you may find you are standing idly by for payment while the owner and the GC fight amongst themselves. Can you receive partial payment for your work before the lien fund is finalized? […] Read More

Things Left Unsaid – Determining Price Adjustment resulting from Scope Changes

By Matthew Turzansky and Catriona Otto-Johnston

It’s common for the parties to a construction contract to focus on the price of the work to be performed.  Less attention is often given to the method of calculating changes to the price for alterations to the scope of work.  Uncertainty in this area can lead to a major [...] Read More

“A rose by any other name? Not so!”: The critical role of “improvement” in the Builders’ Lien Act

Contributors: Sharn Mashiana (articling student), Andrew Wilkinson and Catriona Otto-Johnston

Do you know if the nature of your construction work on a project allows you to register a valid builders’ lien? You might be surprised to hear that not all types of work give rise to lien rights. In order for you to register a [...] Read More

Estimates: How Important Are They Really?

Ever found yourself in a situation where you have provided an estimate for your services, but felt uncertain if you underquoted your client? Maybe you didn’t have all the necessary information? Maybe your client requested additional work or changes to the work as the project progressed? Either way, will you be able to collect payment […] Read More