Developers and construction companies in North Carolina and around the country sign an extensive array of contracts when preparing for an upcoming project. However, disputes can still arise, especially if cost overruns, project delays or other problems threaten to delay a project. If these disputes lead to litigation, the construction project may be delayed even further and the parties may face greater expenses. Therefore, resolving construction disputes and devising contractual provisions to deal with problems are often major priorities.
In order to resolve contract disputes more quickly or avoid them altogether, it may be important to understand the reasons for the problems that can derail projects. In the United States, an average construction dispute on a major project may cost $16.3 million. These issues may stretch out projects over even longer timelines, with the average dispute taking around 15 months to resolve. In many cases, construction disputes arise because one party fails to live up to its contractual responsibilities. In other cases, the contract itself was insufficient, with little clear mechanism for resolution. When there are issues over contract administration, one or more parties may not even understand their responsibilities.
In other cases, slow payment or cash flow problems can lead to stopped work and litigation. In other cases, specifications and design errors may leave parties in conflict with one another about who is responsible for the costs associated with fixing the problem. Work with quality and durability issues can also lead to costly repairs and further disputes.
In order to resolve construction disputes quickly, communication can be key, as can obtaining a clear picture of the facts involved. A construction law attorney may help clients to negotiate a clear agreement in advance, resolve a contract issue or move toward litigation in the event that the problem cannot be addressed.