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Common causes of construction disputes

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2022 | Construction Contracts

Organization and collaboration are essential for any major construction project.

Construction disputes are common for a number of reasons because many parties are working concurrently on the same project and there is a lot of money involved.

Unclear contracts

A carefully written contract that clearly outlines the expectations of the project owner and the obligations of the contractor helps to minimize misunderstandings about performance and timelines.

Construction defects

There are four main types of construction defects that may arise in any project. Workmanship defects relate to the quality of the work performed. Design defects cause damage when designers and engineers fail to meet building codes. Material defects occur when inferior products lead to damage. Subsurface defects occur when the ground is not properly prepared for construction and flooding, sinking, shifting or cracks in the foundation occur. These defects range from simple to complicated. The more serious defects cause significant damage.

Disputes about delays

Construction work often takes more time than anticipated. The work involves several subcontractors. If one subcontractor is late in meeting a deadline, it may directly cause another subcontractor to miss the next deadline.


When a contractor completes their work and meets all obligations of the contract, but the owner refuses to pay, the contractor can pursue a claim for nonpayment or file a Mechanic’s lien.

Many construction disputes come back to the contract. To help lessen the chance of legal claims, a concise contract should also include remedies to attempt before legal action is sought after a problem arises.