Construction projects are monumental undertakings. Property owners, suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors must all come together to get a project off of the ground successfully. The fact that anything ever gets accomplished is something of a miracle.
With so many moving parts, disputes occur frequently. Here are four of the more common construction law disputes and the steps you can take to avoid some of these issues.
1. Disputes over building materials
Building material contracts run the spectrum from being elusively vague to frustratingly specific. Some contracts may provide you with no direction about the types of materials that are to be used. Other contracts may set forth the types of materials that are to be used down to the nails. Common disputes involving building materials often stem from using substandard products, while others involve the failure to follow the contract’s language.
If the language is unclear, ask for clarification. If the contract asks for the use of specific materials, be sure to use them. If those materials are unavailable or otherwise pose a problem, try to reach an amended agreement.
2. Disputes over workmanship
Quality of workmanship disputes occur all of the time on construction projects. Construction contracts should establish detailed expectations of the work to be done. However, even the most well-drafted contract cannot always protect a party from claims of shoddy workmanship. It’s important to address these issues as soon as possible to continue with payments and the project itself.
3. Disputes over payment
You may have held up your end of the deal. However, other parties may fail to provide you with the promised payments. You can take some steps to make a property owner comply with the terms of your agreement. Mechanics’ liens are usually sufficient. Litigation is an option if nothing else seems to work.
4. Construction delays and timeline disputes
There are often incentives for finishing a project ahead of time and under budget. However, tiny problems can have a snowball effect, leading to missed deadlines. Completing work in a timely manner should always be your goal, even if there is no specified timeline. An effort to keep things on track is crucial to avoiding a lawsuit.
Preparation can provide protection
The vast majority of construction law disputes revolve around contracts. A properly worded contract can help avoid many problems. However, you can count for practically any contingency and still find yourself caught in a dispute. If you do find yourself threatened with a lawsuit, seek help from a skilled legal professional who can help protect your valuable interests.