Why do construction disputes happen?
The construction industry has a lot of complex challenges moving around before you can guarantee that the process flows smoothly. Unlike other business deals, you cannot expect a construction project to finish in a single day. Instead, the construction work can take months or even years to complete the undertaking fully.
This long wait would need proper guidance, and the supply of materials would need to move steadily to ensure that there would be no delays during construction. However, it is not uncommon to receive disputes when fulfilling specific contractual obligations between a client and contractor. These issues can turn into an argument that would require dispute resolution to ensure that the client continuously provides payment for the construction project.
There are plenty of reasons why construction disputes arise from time to time. Even though most of these issues are nothing more than a simple disagreement or misunderstanding, there are times where conflicts can cause hindrance to the construction progress. Thus, you can expect that both parties will end up shelling out money indiscriminately without any leads resolution. Instead, it will always help all construction business owners learn about the fundamentals of why and how construction disputes happen in the first place.
Common Causes of Disputes In The Construction Industry
As previously mentioned, denying payment due to failure to provide the contractual obligations can force the client to withhold payment until the problem finds a suitable resolution. However, there are also cases where the construction company can file disputes due to the client forcing unrealistic expectations towards the contract terms.
There are plenty of causes of construction disputes. Here are some of the most common causes property owners can bring up to their contractors:
Omissions or Errors in The Contract
A construction contract should always entail every possible scenario that could arise during the build process. Your best to avoid disputes is to thoroughly inspect the contents of the contract documents and guarantee that there are no issues that could spark controversy. One of the most common reasons construction contracts miss a beat in writing an official document is the lack of foresight.
A simple omission of the official documentation can always lead to disagreements that could affect the performance of the building process. It is always crucial to have a dedicated sector in your construction company that processes and handles every document to ensure that every information needed is organised correctly in the official documentation. You can also include a subcontractor and an experienced attorney to review the records to ensure that nothing critical is left behind.
Failure to Consider and Adjust to Changing Conditions
You should always expect during construction that there will come some unforeseen changes during the entire process. These delays and hindrances do not always come in the form of management or disputes. Situations such as accidents or even weather can hamper the progress made by your workers and affect all parties involved. It is always best to consider that something might go wrong and adjust accordingly before making any final deadlines.
This process is not something that the skilled main contractor should worry about. Factors such as site conditions and disputes should already have been disclosed and discussed within the construction contract between the contractor and the client. Learn to balance the extra cost needed to balance out possible accidents and additional spending in advance to prevent such disputes from boiling over down the line.
Too Many Parties Involved
Larger-scale construction projects would contain so many parties involved as stakeholders. You can expect that each member of those parties would want to ensure that the money they invested in will go directly to the proper creation of the site. The last thing they would want is to shell out their hard-earned funds over something that does not fit the bill they receive.
However, this process can further complicate matters between the property owners, stakeholders, and any other parties involved once an issue arises. There would need to be a form of structure and an official mediator to help talk it out and help resolve the issues that one party may have over another on a decision made in the construction project or process.
Terrible build quality or Material Choice
No self-respecting business owner would want their employees to deal with a structure that could potentially break and injure them. Even if your employer decides to take a more inexpensive material option for the site, it is still your responsibility to ensure that the construction process remains high-quality.
One of the biggest mistakes that a construction company can make that will harm its reputation is to forego writing the details of the buyer’s agreed-upon materials. Not only should your company ensure that you stick to the choices that the client insisted on, but you also should inspect the quality of the materials arriving and ensure that every part is up to the standard to the contract set. Although, one of the most common causes of disputes over quality is determining if a subpar solution will pass off as safe and satisfactory for both parties.
Failure to Communicate
Construction disputes often fall under a simple misunderstanding between clients and contractors. You can find that a simple aspect of failing to communicate when a particular error or change can cause a significant impact on the overall project in terms of build period and money spent. The last thing that any client would want is to find out that they need to go way over the projected cost without noticing the change.
Establishing an open line for communication between both parties can ensure that disputes smooth out faster and easier before they can snowball into something that can damage the relationship. Project leads should note proper risk management and possible errors in any official contracts as soon as there is a discovery. The best course of action that can prevent conflicts is to settle on an agreement early to help avoid substantial loss in both time and funding.
Mitigate Disputes During The Construction Process
Since disagreements between parties can arise at any point in the entire construction process, it is always best to consider ways to mitigate the dispute into something smaller. The biggest mistake that a construction contractor can make when dealing with construction disputes is failing to properly establish communication with the client. However, there are plenty of scenarios where you can mitigate some of the most common causes of conflicts from arising without needing to deal with matters through legal court hearings.