construction law austin attorneys

Construction Law

Sneed, Vine & Perry, P.C.’s construction law group represents owners, general contractors, and subcontractors in commercial construction matters. We also represent general contractors and subcontractors on residential projects. Illustrative matters include:

Contract Drafting & Negotiation

Different types of projects require different types of contracts. One size does not fit all, and it is rarely in anyone’s best interest to sign the initial draft of a construction agreement. Important questions to consider include:

Is the contract fixed price? Is it cost-plus? Is it cost-plus with a guaranteed maximum price? Is the contract between an owner and a general contractor, developer, or a construction manager? If you are a subcontractor, what are the expectations of the general contractor on the project, and are those expectations typical of construction projects in Texas? Are the terms of the contract even legal under Texas law?

Each of these questions dictates the expectations of the various parties when entering into an agreement on a project. Within each of the various types of contracts lie potential traps that can cause problems before a project begins. For instance, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) construction contract set is a common starting point for a construction project. However, the standard AIA agreement is almost never suitable in its original form.

Attempting to address problematic terms after a contract is signed is difficult. Sneed, Vine & Perry, P.C. can assist you in identifying and negotiating terms that are important to you as a party to a construction project before they become a problem, and allow all parties to define their risk – and budgets – with more certainty.

Lien Claims & Defenses

Texas lien law is significantly different from that of most states and is antiquated and overly complex. In fact, relatively few attorneys in Texas deal with this type of law day-in and day-out. However, when used correctly, a lien is a vital tool to secure payment for those who have provided labor and/or materials for a project. As such, it is imperative that a lien claimant, or someone defending against a lien claim, engage an attorney with significant experience in this area of the law.

To properly perfect a lien claim in Texas, the process must start much earlier than the lien deadline. To start with, an unpaid party must identify its standing in the project. Is it a general contractor? A subcontractor? A second-tier subcontractor or supplier? Is the project fully or partially funded by a governmental entity? Is the job bonded? Is the project commercial or residential? If it is residential, is it a homestead property? All of these questions affect how to properly file a lien.

Sneed, Vine & Perry, P.C. can assist clients in evaluating lien claims and attacking them for material violations of Texas law. Identifying errors in the notice process, the filing process, and the lien itself can lead to significant savings for an owner and reduced liability of a general contractor to an owner.


Litigation is expensive, and Texas law is unique in many aspects of construction litigation. If problems arise during construction or through warranty claims later, Sneed, Vine & Perry, P.C. can assist an owner, contractor, subcontractor, or material supplier with the claim on any commercial project. We can also assist general contractors, subcontractors, or suppliers on residential projects. We regularly represent construction clients in both litigation and arbitration claims filed on Texas projects on both affirmative claims and defenses.