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What Are the Most Common Causes of Construction Disputes?

In Maryland, the construction process is largely smooth. However, there can be problems even with the most well-organized construction projects. Many parties are involved in construction projects, ranging from contractors and subcontractors to property owners. With so many parties involved, the circumstances are ripe for disagreements.

In addition, a substantial amount of money is involved in new construction as well as remodeling projects. Disputes commonly occur in construction projects due to the large sums of money involved, and the complexity of new builds and remodeling work.

Common Disputes in Construction Projects

There are various reasons due to which construction disputes arise. But there are some commonly occurring disputes that arise during ongoing construction projects. The following are some of the most common reasons for construction disputes:

Disputes over Contract Terms

The reasons for a conflict over the contract terms may be unique in every case. For instance, conflicts over insurance agreements can be a reason for contention. One of the parties involved in the project may feel that they deserve some compensation while the other party or the insurer may disagree.

Contract disputes can also manifest themselves from disagreements on each party’s scope of work. This is one reason why a proper understanding needs to occur before the project begins. Moreover, one party may feel that the assigned tasks are not a part of their job description and demand higher pay for the completion of these tasks.

Disputes over Construction Quality

It is a judicious idea to develop a detailed contract that explains precisely what the construction work will involve. However, conflicts commonly occur on whether a contractor provided an acceptable standard of workmanship.

If developers and property owners do not find the work provided by a contractor or subcontractor to be of an appropriate standard, they can sue those who completed the sub-standard work. A contractor may also file a lawsuit if a customer refuses to pay for work they believe to be substandard.

Disputes over Materials Used

This source of conflict is related to disputes on construction quality. A comprehensive construction contract can help mitigate the risk of the occurrence of such disputes. But if a contractor does not use the materials enlisted in a contract and instead, uses lower quality material or any material unacceptable to the property owner, it can give rise to conflicts.

Disputes over Delays in Construction and Timelines

Often, construction work takes much longer than expected. A property owner or developer could file a lawsuit if a contractor or subcontractor does not deliver work by mutually agreed-upon deadlines specified in the contract. Even in the absence of specific deadlines in a construction contract, the work should be performed in a timely and effective manner.

Disputes over Construction Project Abandonment

Sometimes a property owner may feel that a contractor has abandoned the project prior to completion, which often leaves the owner suing to recover money paid for unfinished work and left in a position where substantial additional funds need to be paid for the work to be completed as required.

Disputes over Nonpayment

At times, a contractor or subcontractor delivers satisfactory work using good quality materials, but the property owner does not pay as agreed upon. In these situations, contractors can sue the property owner for nonpayment. Another way for contractors to get a property owner to pay is through Mechanics’ liens. The contractor could place a lien on the owner’s property until the unpaid amount is not cleared in full.

Before starting any commercial or residential construction, it is vital to have a comprehensive construction contract in place. In addition, if you feel you have a problem on hand, you should promptly consult an experienced construction dispute lawyer.

Reasons for Construction Conflicts by Clients

  • The mentality to get the lowest price when hiring a contractor
  • Inadequate management supervision
  • Failure to respond on time
  • Contract document discrepancies
  • Poor communication
  • Failure to engage a project manager

Reasons for Construction Conflicts by Contractors

  • Poor understanding and lack of agreement in contract procurement
  • Delays in execution of work
  • Failure to comprehend and appropriately bid or price the works
  • Improper CPM scheduling and update frequency
  • Inability to plan and execute changes of works
  • Being reluctant in seeking clarification

Reasons for Construction Conflicts by the Consultants

  • Increase in costs due to over design
  • Failing to understand its scope of responsibilities under the design team contract
  • Changes due to design errors
  • Incomplete drawing and specification
  • Design and specification inaccuracy and mistakes or omissions from specialists

Legal Help from an Experienced Construction Disputes Lawyer in Maryland

At Evans Law, our Maryland construction disputes lawyers offer solid legal guidance on conflict resolution to property owners, contractors, subcontractors, and developers, among others.

In order to save money and resolve your construction-related problems as soon as possible, our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys can help you identify the most effective techniques to settle the disputes that have arisen. To learn more and speak to an experienced construction dispute attorney, call today at (410) 626-6009.

What To Do if You Suspect a Construction Defect in Your Home

Maybe you’ve recently undergone a remodeling project in your home, and have found that the construction seems shoddy, or has started to fall apart. Perhaps you’ve found pools of water or water damage, and believe that a window or door may be leaking. Construction defects can become hugely expensive to fix, and lead to damage to the underlying structure of the home. As experienced Anne Arundel County real estate attorneys, we are frequently called upon to advise clients and represent them regarding construction defects. Below are some answers to common questions we frequently get asked about construction defects.

What makes for a “construction defect” under the law?

A construction defect is anything done to your home or condominium that reduces its value due to poor workmanship or faulty design.

What are common defects?

One very common defect, which can in turn lead to additional issues, is a leaky façade or water seeping through improperly installed windows or doors. This sort of defect can increase your heating and cooling bills, can lead to widespread mold, and can even lead to damage of the structure from extensive water damage. Another common defect is faulty electrical work, which can damage expensive electronics, and even lead to fires. If a city inspector finds that your home does not meet relevant building codes after construction is complete, you may have a claim for a design defect.

What happens if I don’t notice the defect for a long time?

There are two main types of construction defects: patent and latent. If a defect is visible for anyone to see and should be obvious to the homeowner, then it is considered “patent.” If the defect is hidden, and only becomes evident after, for example, a serious rainstorm or after the passage of some time, then it will be considered “latent.” While statutes of limitation will keep you from filing a lawsuit after a certain length of time after you discover the defect, that point in time may be later if the defect is latent, since you would not be expected to know about a hidden defect. A skilled inspector or construction expert can examine your home and support a claim that you had no way to know about the defect prior to discovering the damage.

What if I repair the defect, but still want to recover damages for the defect?

Even if you’re forced to take immediate action to repair your home due to the defect, you can still recover against the contractor, subcontractor, architect, developer, or builder for the flaw. In fact, if the defect were left unrepaired and resulted in an even greater loss in value to your home, the court may find that you are not entitled to the greater damages caused by the fact that you didn’t stop the problem from getting worse.

If you’ve been the victim of defective construction or a fraudulent or negligent contractor, contact an attorney who understands the law and knows how to prove complex construction causes of action in court. For a free consultation on your D.C. or Maryland construction defect claim, contact the experienced Anne Arundel construction and real estate attorneys at the Law Offices of Matthew Evans III, LLC, at 410-626-6009.

Law Offices of Matthew S. Evans Celebrates 4th Year

The Law Offices of Matthew S. Evans is celebrating its fourth year of providing Annapolis and its surrounding communities with top-notch real estate and construction legal services.  The Evans firm also provides services for contract disputes, in-house counsel, civil litigation and settlement services.  We are continually committed to providing clients with the best legal advice available at the best rates.

We find that legal coverage often works best as a good preventative measure in situations that can become complicated when we least expect them to, keeping us safe when we are in a transitional period. This is especially true in Real Estate, Construction, and Land Use work, where proper guidance is necessary to achieve the best outcome and returns possible on your investments.

Although these areas can be among the most profitable sectors to invest in, they can also include permit and contract work that can be challenging. Having experienced and mindful counsel can make this process substantially easier to work through, however.

This is how the Law Offices of Matthew S. Evans III can best help you minimize risk in areas that are difficult to navigate, and allow you to concentrate more on your business or personal needs.

Through serving the Annapolis, Maryland and Washington, D.C. area with more than 15 years of professional experience and public service, Mr. Evans has distinguished himself by specializing in the areas that will matter most to your business or private enterprise.

Contact us and find out why so many trust the Evans firm with their business and private needs.

Annapolis Real Estate & Construction Law Services

At the Evans Law we offer a broad range of legal services from contract-related disputes, to real estate and construction law, to general civil litigation. We also provide residential and commercial real estate settlement services throughout our affiliate company United Title, Inc.

We are one of the few firms in Annapolis, MD that specialize in legal matters regarding construction, land use and real estate. Matthew S. Evans, III is an Anne Arundel County attorney with over 15 years of professional experience. He has also completed continuing education courses and is very active in the community. He serves both businesses and individuals with a wide range of services.

Real estate can be a very costly and complex investment. In fact, it will most likely be one of the most expensive investments that you will ever make. That is why it is essential for you to have an experienced attorney to help you. A qualified attorney will help navigate you through this process. This will potentially help you avoid costly matters. Evans has worked with clients of different backgrounds, needs and sizes. He also brings personalized service that cannot be found at other firms. Contract disputes, homeowners association issues, real estate litigation and contracts, ownership transactions and landlord-tenant lease agreements are considered real estate law.

Construction Law is another one of the legal services that Evans offers. He has had over 10 years of experience in dealing with construction defects, bond claims, licensing issues. Evans will provide his counsel and advice. He will also negotiate claims and contracts as well as review contracts. The legal climate today requires that one be flexible in problem solving. Evans is experienced in successfully using alternative dispute resolution. He strives to provide you with the best counseling and advice that will help you avoid expensive litigation that is related to construction law. Contact Matthew S. Evans today for more information.

Matthew S. Evans, III Named Maryland Super Lawyer

Matthew S. Evans, III is proud to have been recently selected by Super Lawyers as a top rated Construction Litigation Attorney in Maryland for 2015.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of top lawyers among 70 different practice areas and is comprised of individuals who have been recognized by their peers and for their outstanding professional achievements. Independent researchers, along with evaluations and nominations from peers make up the rigorous selection process.

In addition to top rated Construction Litigation, the Law Offices of Matthew S. Evans offers a broad range of legal services including contract-related disputes, real estate and construction law, and general civil litigation. They also provide residential and commercial real estate settlement services through their affiliate company United Title, Inc.

Contract Disputes

The Evans Law is an Annapolis based firm experienced in contract disputes. They represent Maryland and Washington D.C. clients involved in conflict over real estate transactions, employment contracts and business transactions. While they always attempts to bring both parties to an agreement, they also work with their clients to prepare for litigation. Their primary focus is on the harm suffered by clients as the result of another party’s breach of contract. This typically involves financial consequences for the party that was owed money or services. Clients work with Matthew S. Evans, III because they want the money that is rightfully owed them without having to pursue criminal sanctions.

Our Legal Services for Contract Disputes Include:

  • Real Estate: Landlord and tenant lease disputes, homeowner association dues and disagreements over services, broken real estate contracts, commercial and residential settlements, contract disputes and ownership transactions.
  • Construction: Contract law disputes, liens and taxes, bonding, guaranties, sureties, licensing issues, bond claims, interpretation of the Miller Act and mechanic liens.
  • Land Use: Access permits, developer agreements, site plans, variances, re-zoning applications and master plan changes.

More About Matthew S. Evans, III

Matthew S. Evans, III has been practicing law for 15 years. He opened his own law firm in 2011 to focus on contract dispute issues. He is particularly interested in real estate, land use and construction. Mr. Evans is a member of the Maryland Bar Association, Anne Arundel County Bar Association and the Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers. He is passionate about his work and helping his clients recover what is owed to them in a timely manner.