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How can you address the disputes in construction projects?

For the most part, construction projects are not simple. Even if the parties to a construction contract believe the agreement is fairly straightforward, issues and setbacks could occur. Moreover, the more complex a construction project is, the more working parts there are likely to be. If an unforeseen event occurs or if one party fails to uphold their part of the agreement, this could greatly harm the entire project.

How can you address the disputes in construction projects? The best way to tackle construction disputes is to obtain a clear picture of the issues involved. Oftentimes, parties might want to wait and see how the issue develops or if the problem will fix itself. While this could help avoid taking unnecessary action, this could also give the issue time to grow and impact more areas of the project. It is important to timely address issues as they occur.

To a certain extent, unforeseen issues and disagreements should be expected with any major construction project. For the most part, these should cause little to no disruption to the overall success of the project and require no major steps by any party involved. However, when it is apparent that issues are presenting themselves, it is important to take proactive steps during the pre-dispute phase. This often includes investigating the cause of these disputes and what impacts they could have. Taking this step helps evaluate how to best mitigate or resolve disputes.

Whenever there is a contract involved, it is essential to understand the terms of the agreement. A construction contract is no different. However, because there are often contractors and subcontractors involved, parties need to take the time to examine the rights and obligations of each party within the context of the agreement. If it is determined that a party breached the agreement, this will likely be cause to either negotiate or litigate a settlement.

Whether you are involved in a small or major construction project, it is important that any disputes or issues are timely addressed. This might mean negotiating new terms or seeking damages for delays and defects. Whatever steps a party takes, it is essential to understand what recourses are available.

Source: Jdsupra.com, "Managing In-Project Disputes in Major Construction Projects," April 18, 2016

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