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How Contractors Can Avoid Disputes With Their Customers Part 2

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Although disputes can never be completely eliminated from your construction projects, following the tips in part one and this final section will better protect you from disputes.

In addition to these, reviewing your disputes clause before a dispute arises is imperative. Understanding the processes involved in negotiating and settling a dispute is important, too. For instance, some contract clauses may call for mediation or arbitration while others call for litigation as the primary means to settle disputes. There may also be rigid notice provisions that require parties to submit a formal notice of a dispute after it arises. A Knoxville construction attorney from our firm can guide you every step of the way.

Diligent Upfront Planning

A rigorous preconstruction process is crucial to a successful project and one of the best ways to avoid disputes with your customers. Upfront project planning is necessary for putting together solid estimates and schedules, lining up subcontractors, and ordering important items. Other important key steps should be completed to avoid hitting snags during the project. These include market research, constructability reviews, budget management, and bid and procurement strategies. An unrealistic schedule is a surefire way to create project delays because it causes a snowball effect of setbacks. When planning, take into account potential contingencies so you can prevent or have a plan for mitigating them in advance.

Bid Wisely

Bidding on construction projects is a normal part of contract work. However, there is a wrong way to bid, and bid mistakes can be frustrating and costly. For instance, bidding on projects in which you lack expertise or submitting an error-filled or incomplete bid is setting yourself up for disaster. Another problematic scenario involves low bidding. You may be tempted to bid low to keep the work coming in, but once the contract is signed, this could lead to the need to boost the final price by charging extra for variations. Your client may then dispute these variations along with the increased cost.

Additionally, you should also avoid attempting to bid without a license because it violates Tennessee code and can result in bid award ineligibility, civil penalties, and monetary fines. To determine your bid readiness, read our two-part series on the subject.

If you would like to speak with one of our knowledgeable Knoxville construction attorneys, please contact us today.

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.