Some construction projects often involve lengthy and troublesome disputes between the owners and contractors or general contractors and sub-contractors. Besides, projects may also change over time, causing delays and complications. While some occur due to the owner’s actions and situations beyond control, disputes and litigations are generally bad for every construction project. The following are some of the best ways to avoid them on your project.
Secure a Legally Enforceable Contract
Having a legally abiding contract is essential to protecting the rights and interests of both parties. It sets clear guidelines on the roles and responsibilities of the project owner, contractor, and sub-contractors. A contract will also provide alternatives for settling disputes that may arise before, during, and after the project’s completion.
Project owners usually expect daily updates from their managers but, that is not always enough to avoid disputes and litigations. You should maintain frequent contact with your project manager and contractor, always asking questions to ensure that you resolve any arising problems or variations promptly. Create a system where both parties can communicate freely regarding the project.
Maintain Accurate Records
Some litigations and disputes often arise due to poor record-keeping by both parties. Apart from the construction budget, you should also keep a proper record of receipts, invoices, and other documents related to the project. That usually comes in handy, especially when handling claims about unpaid services or products.
Monitor the Project Closely
Do not always leave it to the project manager, contractor or sub-contractors to update you on the progress. Instead, take time also to visit the job site and inspect the work personally. That would allow you to familiarize yourself with the construction process, spot any signs of irregularities, and address them before escalation.
Although disputes and litigations are inevitable in some complex construction projects, the above pointers can help you anticipate and resolve issues in a timely and less costly manner. However, you should also consult with an expert for advice whenever disputes occur.