How to handle a contract dispute during a construction project can be a big problem. For one thing, you may not be able to move forward with your work until the issue is resolved. Also, it could end up costing you more money to deal with the dispute if you end up having to file or defend a lawsuit.
Contract disputes most often arise in construction projects because of problems with the contract itself. That’s why every contract should be reviewed by your attorney before you sign it. You should always understand the conditions in your contract, what to do in case of delays or a breach of contract and how to handle incomplete or unsubstantiated claims made by any of the parties included in the contract.
Fortunately, you can reduce the potential for a dispute to arise by using a well drafted contract. If you chose to use a contract, you should always:
- Carefully review and read any contract you are asked to sign
- Make sure to be diligent about estimates, schedules, communication and other aspects of pre-construction work
- Deal with problems the moment they arise instead of waiting until a dispute gets out of hand
- Plan, plan, plan. Great planning before a project starts can make everything go smoother for all parties involved.
What do you do if you do end up with a contract dispute?
If you do end up dealing with a contract dispute, then you need to consider how to handle it. You may have an arbitration clause in your contract, or you may need to consider other dispute resolution methods, like mediation or negotiating. It is usually in all parties’ best interests to avoid litigation, but it may be the right choice if you cannot come to an agreement.