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Methods of resolving construction disputes

by | Jul 13, 2021 | Construction Law

When you are building a new home in Texas or remodeling your existing one, you choose a contractor you believe will complete the job in a timely and satisfactory manner. If that doesn’t happen, you may have a construction dispute. Understanding what leads to home construction disputes may help you avoid them.

Causes of home construction disputes

In most situations, a construction dispute is caused by a misunderstanding between the homeowner and the construction company. There may have been lack of clarity regarding the contract, or perhaps something happened to cause delays in the project. In some cases, the contractor may not have fulfilled the contractual obligations or completed the job to the property owner’s satisfaction. Such issues could result in contractor litigation.

Dispute resolution clause in the contract

When you are concerned that your contractor is not completing the job as promised or there seems to be an excessive delay, you will want to review the dispute resolution clause in your contract. The clause may have one of six options to resolve the dispute, including:

  • Negotiation – this requires you to work with the contractor to resolve the issue before taking other steps.
  • Mediation – a neutral third party helps to resolve the dispute.
  • Expert determination – this is similar to mediation, although a specialist is used to resolve the dispute.
  • Adjudication – a third party is used, but unlike a mediator, they will provide a decision, and their decision may be binding in court.
  • Litigation – the final option may be to sue the contractor.

Tips to avoid contractor disputes

The best way to avoid contractor disputes is to review the contract carefully before construction begins. Keeping in mind that delays in construction are sometimes unavoidable, request an estimated schedule. Talk to any managers on the project to get an idea of how well the contractor is handling your job. Monitor the entire process closely. There are some contractors who will provide you with an online dashboard where you can keep track of the progress. To avoid construction disputes, it is highly recommended that you use that dashboard or at least have regular conversations with your contractor.

If you are involved in a dispute with your contractor, it is important that you speak to an attorney to see what rights you have under the law. Sometimes a court will have to settle the issue.