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Understanding Contract Errors or Omissions in Construction Contracts

Two of the most serious problems to deal with in construction contracts are errors and omissions. Both can appear in contracts as well as building plans and project guidelines. When there is an omission or an error, construction companies have to act quickly to remedy the situation. Otherwise, there could be insurmountable problems in the construction project that lead to serious legal implications. In this article, a Nashville construction dispute lawyer helps you understand contract errors or omissions in construction contracts.

Related: Avoid Construction Contract Errors With These 4 Tips

What Counts as an Error?

In a construction contract, an error is any type of mistake that affects the outcome of the project. Errors can appear in just about any part of the construction project, from design to finished construction. This becomes a legal problem when there is an error in the contract, or there is an error in the design process that will lead to contractual issues that require the help of a Nashville construction lawyer.

For example, an architect making a mistake in the design of the building encounters an error. This error will also cause problems for the contractor as a change in the plans will need to be made and reviewed, the contractor will have to acquire materials, and the contractor will have to fix the problem. This can result in extended costs and work time, putting the rest of the project at risk.


Related: How Contractors Can Mitigate Design Risks

What Counts as an Omission?

Although slightly different, omissions act in a similar way as errors. An omission is any mistake in the construction project that involves leaving out important pieces of information. In many cases, this results in leaving out small details in the design and construction of the building. While it may not seem like a major problem, the small details can serve specific purposes that can impact the rest of the building.

For example, leaving a specific feature off of the building can prevent it from being handicapped accessible. If the building is required to be handicap accessible, it may not pass inspection making the building unusable. The construction company may need the help of one of our Nashville construction lawyers to get the project back on track and to fix problems with the contract. 

How to Respond

When errors or commissions are found in contracts, you may be able to take action to address them. There is a simple process to determine what you should do and in what order. This process includes:

Assess the Problem

Before you take action to address the error or omission, assess the situation to determine if it is a problem or not. In many cases, an error can be corrected by a simple design change. If this is the case, an easy change may not lead to bigger problems. It will require a change order for the project to document the change. If the error is more serious and would require a more drastic solution, then it’s important to consult the appropriate parties. The architect for the property may need to be involved in the process to make sure that the changes do not negatively impact the rest of the building.

It may also be a good idea to consult a Nashville construction dispute lawyer to see if there are any legal implications for resolving this issue. It is not unusual for construction companies to find small errors in projects and remedy them with change orders to have the project continue.


Related: Dealing With Change After Drafting a Contract

Seek Legal Guidance

Before you address the problem with the other companies involved in the contract, talk to a Nashville construction lawyer to see what your options are. Depending on the problem that was created, there may be several possible options for how to resolve it. 

Regardless of the problem that an error or omission created, taking legal action is often the last option that construction companies want to take. This is because it can damage the relationship between the parties, it’s expensive, and completing the process can be time-consuming. It may be worth the time and effort to find another possible solution so that your company can avoid a lot of the hassle related to taking legal action. However, there are cases where only legal action can be effective. 

For example, an error in a design that cannot be fixed easily and puts people’s lives in danger may require legal action. The construction company needs to work with the site owner and architect to redesign the structure, which can be expensive and take a lot of time and be expensive. If it delays the project, the construction company may have to fight fines and other issues. 

Prevent Future Problems

Prevention is the best method for resolving problems with errors and omissions. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to prevent them. Since errors and omissions generally are found after the project starts, it can be difficult to prevent them from happening. However, there are steps that construction companies can take to reduce the chances of encountering problems.

One effective method is to conduct a full audit of the project’s progress after each step is complete. For example, having the plans reviewed after the architect finishes them can help catch design errors. Alternatively, checking progress during the construction problem can help contractors ensure that they did not miss parts of the project. Having systems in place to prevent errors and omissions can save your company a lot of trouble and expenses later. 

If an error or omission comes to a legal process, then your company should seek help from a lawyer that specializes in construction law. The potential impact on your company can be mitigated if you have the right legal representation. If you have questions about omissions and errors in construction, contact a Nashville construction dispute attorney from Cotney Construction Law.

If you would like to speak with a Nashville construction dispute attorney, 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.