When you are working on a construction project there are a lot of things that you need to be on the lookout for. Since there is so much going on it is possible that an oversight or a small problem can lead to a major dispute. Sometimes even a single construction dispute can ruin the entire project. If there are several disputes, the contractor might find himself out of business. The following are a few tips to avoid incurring losses due to construction disputes.
Be Careful when Drafting Contracts
Contractors face a lot issues due to unclear contracts. Make sure that the language used in the contracts is clear and unambiguous. The contract should include a clause regarding time extension in case the owner requests changes or causes delays for any other reason. Carefully go over any provisions that affect your right to compensation such as the change order provisions or the no damages for delay clauses.
Closely Monitor the Jobsite
Even well drafted contracts cannot prevent disputes if the project managers and the crew do not follow the obligatory procedures stipulated in the contract. So, you need to monitor them closely and make sure that they understand everything. Make sure that your team follows the contractually mandated procedures and complies with all the notices and approval requirements. It is also important that they document any additional costs acquired in the project properly.
If there isn’t a baseline schedule that was accepted by all parties at the beginning of the project it will be quite difficult to determine how delay claims or change orders will impact the project’s schedule. If you have an accurate schedule in place, you will be able to identify any delays early on and take the necessary measures to minimize their impact. Delays often lead to disputes so if you are able to identify them early on you can prevent it from turning into a massive issue.
Always be aware of the Applicable Laws and Regulations
You need to make sure that you are always aware of the laws and regulations that might affect your project. In some states heavy duty machinery is not street legal and you need a special permit to drive on a public road. If you do not comply with these rules and regulations it can result in disputes or even litigation.
Train the Project Managers
By the time the owner of the company finds out about the dispute, the matter is usually too out of hand. So, make sure that your project managers are properly trained in dispute management as they are in the perfect position to identify any issues that arise. The project manager should be able to act quickly to resolve any issues before it can turn into a full-fledged conflict.