How to Resolve Construction Disputes
With any type of construction project, disputes are always possible. These issues can arise for various reasons, and you need to know how to resolve them quickly and painlessly as possible.
Reasons for Construction Disputes
Many of the parties involved in construction disputes don’t fully understand construction law and don’t know how to navigate an issue when it arises. As a result, construction disputes can cause a serious delay in construction and cost workers and homeowners money. Some reasons why these issues come up are:
- Failure to draft or understand a proper construction contract.
- Not following conditions outlined in the contract.
- False claims made about the work or contract by either party.
- Construction delays due to weather or unavailability of materials.
Methods for Resolving Construction Disputes
Some methods of resolving construction disputes include the following:
The first step is to try and negotiate with all parties to reach an amicable agreement. If you feel that is impossible, you can involve a skilled construction attorney or mediator to find common ground. Often, using a third party, all parties can reach an agreement that is acceptable to everyone.
If you cannot come to an agreement through negotiation or mediation, the next step is arbitration. Arbitration is often the chosen resolution method for construction disputes before you file a lawsuit. In arbitration, the arbitrator listens to both sides and then makes a binding decision. Arbitration costs more than mediation.
You may be forced to use litigation to resolve the construction issue if all other methods fail. You will need to hire a construction lawyer to protect your interests and see that you get a fair day in court. Construction attorneys are well versed in construction law and can help guide you through the process of litigation. Regardless of whether you are the homeowner or contractor, you will want help on your side.
How to Avoid Construction Disputes
Before you need one of the methods above to resolve a construction issue, you can take steps to avoid them altogether. Some tips to prevent these types of problems include:
- Spell out clear payment terms in the contract with contingencies for every possible issue and specify payment dates.
- Keep tight records of everything that has occurred with the project. You may need to produce them later.
- Specify communication terms, timelines, and methods so that everyone remains on the same page throughout the process.
- Stick to the contract terms no matter what. If anything comes up, immediately contact the other parties to discuss it.
Where to Turn for Help
If you have a construction dispute you need help with or want to draft a contract to avoid these types of issues, contact Haber Law today.