Our Fort Lauderdale construction attorneys know that conflict has become commonplace in the construction industry. As discussed in part one and this section, conflicts pop up for a range of reasons including conflicts over contract conditions, people conflicts, and unexpected events and problems. These disputes can escalate to a lawsuit if not mitigated properly and within a reasonable manner of time. However, disputes do not have to escalate to litigation. They can be prevented by making sound business decisions before they even happen. If a dispute does arise, it can be resolved through less formal means such as mediation and arbitration as well.
The Unforeseen Factors
It is not unusual for a construction project to take some unexpected and sometimes surprising turns. If safety standards are not completely adhered to, serious accidents can occur. If allowances are not made for conditions like inclement weather or delays, this could extend your project completion timeline. Some unforeseen problems are the result of human error and some are simply beyond anyone’s control. Regardless, unforeseen factors can be quite costly and time-consuming if there is no mitigation plan in place. As experienced Fort Lauderdale construction attorneys, it is essential that you even plan for the unexpected by analyzing the “what ifs” before a project commences and make provisions for them in your contract and negotiation stage. This will reduce the likelihood of a dispute progressing to the arbitration or litigation stage.
How Contractors Can Avoid Disputes
Disputes can be prevented in a number of ways. First, be sure that you have a clear understanding of the scope and quality of work to be performed on the project. Understand what the client expects of you and communicate the details of the project and be transparent about potential problems that could arise. Take on projects you have the expertise and manpower to handle. Another tip is to put all change orders in writing and have it signed to ensure both parties acknowledge the changes and the extra costs if any. This leads us to the importance of leaving a paper trail. A paper trail can back you if a conflict arises. Additionally, be conscientious about the people you hire. Select highly qualified subcontractors and reputable suppliers. They are one of the keys to a project’s conflict-free progress.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.