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Construction Law FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

Do I need a construction lawyer?

A:

It’s a good idea to consult with a construction attorney if you:

  • Are starting a new project and need to make sure that you’re following local and federal building regulations

  • Need to create a legal document, especially a contract

  • Need a new permit

  • Need to obtain government permission

  • Need to hold a town hearing

  • Are worried about an environmental regulation

  • Are having a dispute with your employer/employee

  • Need to file a lawsuit or lawsuit has been filed against you

For any new project or any concerns or doubts, having a construction lawyer explain the process may be very helpful.

Q:

What does a construction lawyer do?

A:

A construction lawyer handles a number of different legal needs, including but not limited to employment law, government contracts, and construction defects. As your law team, we can draw up contracts and ensure that you’re following regulatory guidelines, as well as represent you in negotiations and in court if it reaches that point.

Q:

What is a building code?

A:

A building code is a law or ordinance enacted by a local authority that sets out the minimum standards that must be met for building design, construction, quality, and location. There are also specialized codes for plumbing, electrical and fire safety. Building codes also cover most remodeling projects.

Q:

What permits do I need?

A:

In Montana, a state building permit is required prior to the start of construction for certain types of new buildings, and/or for alterations, additions, and repairs. Building permits must be issued on all required projects before plumbing, mechanical or electrical permits can be issued and before work authorized under these permits can start.

Montana state law exempts the following from the need to obtain state building permits:

  • Farm and ranch buildings

  • Mining buildings on mining property

  • Petroleum refineries and pulp and paper mills (except office and shop buildings)

  • Residential buildings containing less than five dwelling units (except when serving transient guests)

  • Private garages and private storage buildings used for the owner’s own use (not part of a commercial enterprise or business)