Construction projects don’t always go completely according to plan. Unexpected issues can arise, ranging from unanticipated costs to unwelcome construction delays. For landowners who have entered into commercial construction contracts, these issues can sometimes necessitate legal action, even construction litigation. Here are three of the most common such issues.
3 Issues That Can Require Construction Litigation
1. Construction Delays
Commercial construction contracts generally include a Delays Provision, which permits the builder to ask for additional time or compensation due to “Acts of God”—for example, inclement weather. The issue that many landowners run into is that the builder has enormous liberty to declare delay, meaning the project takes longer to complete and the budget balloons. One way to avoid delays, and to minimize the need for construction litigation, is to clearly spell out the circumstances in which contractors and subcontractors are expected to show up for work. Additionally, your contract can denote financial penalties that the contractor will incur for any delays that are within their control.
2. Scope of Work Issues
The construction contract should also include a Scope of Work/Performance Duties section, where you specify the work you wish to be performed. When this section doesn’t include sufficient detail, it can result in incomplete or defective work, or with a general lapse in communication between you and the builder. It’s best to create your contract with guidance from an attorney, who can help you provide the right amount of detail and clarify exactly what you expect the contractor to do. Don’t leave anything open to interpretation.
3. Change Issues
Once a project is underway, the builder may feel a need to recommend some changes to the original design, schedule, material selections, or scope of work. Sometimes, the builder’s proposed changes can be valuable, but it’s important to make sure they are reviewed and approved by the landowner. By the same token, any changes the landowner wants to make should be vetted and approved by the builder. The contract itself should stipulate that all changes must be approved by both parties—something that ultimately protects everyone involved.
If you need to speak with an attorney about construction litigation issues, reach out to The Law Offices of W. Randall Holcomb. An esteemed litigation firm, Attorney Holcomb’s team serves clients throughout the Greensboro, NC, area. Contact them via their website or by calling (336) 888-8760 to schedule an initial consultation today.