Disputes are typical in the construction industry. It’s nearly impossible to plan for and anticipate every problem that could potentially happen during an operation. With this in mind, construction professionals are wise to plan early and as thoroughly as possible to minimize the occurrence of disputes. This two-part article will discuss ways to avoid disputes. This section will focus on a properly drafting a contract, conducting a pre-construction process, and writing a clear scope of work. Read part two to learn more.
Draft an Ironclad Contract
Many disputes arise out of unclear or misinterpreted contract terms. Whether you are a contractor or subcontractor, the importance of your construction contract cannot be understated. You should understand every aspect of your construction contract including provisions and the scope of work. Consulting with a Birmingham construction lawyer is highly advisable to ensure contract terms and details are not only accurate but also meet your unique needs to balance risks and liabilities.
Conduct a Rigorous Pre-Construction Process
Construction pre-planning is essential for a successful project completion. Preconstruction involves performing preliminary planning and engineering, identifying potential issues, and analyzing cost impacts. The scope of work and schedule are also defined, along with other key items. This is the time to get a feel for the client’s objectives and their concerns. It is during this process that you can evaluate the viability of a project and identify opportunities to achieve the desired results at the lowest cost.
Make Sure the Scope of Work is Clearly Defined
The scope of work is one of the most important parts of the contract. It defines what the contractor and subcontractors are required to do, the supplies needed, the project timeline, and pricing. Specificity is a must, and the expectations and intent of all parties must be accurately reflected. It is essential for keeping everyone on the same page and the project on track. Any variations outside of the scope of work (e.g., request for changes) can potentially lead to legal disputes and claims if not handled properly.
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.