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A Better Partnership

Legacy Matters

February 09, 2021

Is It Time to Address Flooding and Erosion Issues at Your Lakefront Property?

From the Private Client and Family Office Practice Group

Many of our clients have waterfront property located in Michigan and have been struggling with flooding and land erosion issues over the past couple of years due to record-high water levels. This has led people to use temporary fixes like sandbags, with the knowledge that they need to make more permanent improvements, including installing or improving barrier walls.
Soon, contractors will begin performing erosion control work such as building and improving breakwalls and seawalls, and it is important to hire your contractor before all the snow melts and leads to higher water levels again. Our Private Client and Family Office Practice Group attorneys recommend that you implement a qualified bid process to ensure that you hire a reputable contractor with the right skills for your job. And we recommend that you utilize a contract that spells out the responsibilities, completion dates, change order processes and payment details for the work.
Warner attorney Tamara Reeves recently addressed the bid process and important contract provisions for this type of work in her Grand Rapids Business Journal article entitled, “Consider erosion control construction contracts for lakefront work.
In her article, Tamara recommends using a request for proposal, or RFP, in your bid process, and she walks through the items an ideal contract should address, including without limitation:

  • Responsibility for permits and approvals.

  • Scope of work.

  • Project design and specifications.

  • Storage of materials and equipment.

  • Completion dates.

  • Written change orders.

  • Pricing and payment terms.

  • Insurance coverage and bonding.

  • Warranties.

  • Indemnification and dispute resolution.

You can read Tamara’s full article here to help you understand more about choosing the right contractor and negotiating an erosion control contract. Warner’s construction law attorneys can help you create the RFP and other documents that will move your project to completion with the least amount of frustration for both parties. If you would like assistance with a construction-related issue, contact your Warner attorney or Tamara Reeves at 616.752.2215 or

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