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.