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What are the most common causes of construction disputes?

Gregory A. Lang

If you are an investor, a property owner, a contractor or anyone else with a vested interest in the construction of homes or commercial properties, you will likely encounter a construction dispute at some point in time. Because there are so many “cooks in the kitchen,” when it comes to construction endeavors, and so many areas where problems can arise, construction disputes are highly common.

They can also prove quite problematic and expensive, and some construction disputes are far more common than others. Common causes of today’s construction disputes include:

Errors, omissions and related contract issues

Errors and omissions in contracts are the single biggest cause of modern construction disputes. The good news is, you can avoid many of these problems simply by going through the contract with a fine-toothed comb, or having a legal professional assist you in doing so in an effort to identify potential problems before they arise.

Site conditions

Construction bids reflect a specific building site, but sometimes, the conditions of the site are not fully known or disclosed when you or others are drafting the contract. If certain conditions exist at the building site that were not previously discussed, this, too, can lead to disagreement.

A lack of compliance with contractual obligations

If anyone involved in your construction project fails to live up to the obligations outlined in the construction contract, you may find yourself embroiled in a construction dispute. A thorough, carefully crafted contract can help you avoid these to some extent.

Contract administration failures

There are a number of issues that can arise when administrating a construction contract, and again, many of these may be avoidable if you take adequate time in drafting or reviewing the contract, or have a professional look it over for potential flaws. Examples of contract administration issues include using the wrong contract or using bespoke contracts, which may have lengthy boilerplates and amendments that can lead to confusion.

If you find yourself embroiled in a construction dispute, or to avoid finding yourself in this position, consider getting in touch with a lawyer.

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