Regrettably, some construction projects end in long and acrimonious disputes between the employer and contractor, or between the main contractor and subcontractors.
These disputes appear to occur more often these days.
Frequently the only real winners from these disputes seem to be lawyers.
"Submitting a variation claim (change order request) is not a dispute. A dispute arises when the contractor and the employer cannot agree that the variation claim (change order) is legitimate, or they cannot agree the quantum of the claim."
Disputes also arise when one party does not fulfil their obligations in terms of the contract despite repeated requests from the other party to comply. For example; the employer does not pay the contractor, or the contractor fails to rectify faulty work which is due to their fault.
Although disputes are often characterized by a formal dispute resolution process, many disputes simply result in a breakdown in communication between the parties, threats, unhappiness, and a prolonged social media and mainstream media slanging match, which can lead to damaged reputations and be a distraction. Many disputes are left unresolved and fester on, while sometimes the slanging match leads to a further dispute, or legal action.
Examples of disputes gone wrong:
Is it possible to resolve variation claims amicably without declaring a dispute?
Reasons for construction disputes
In the next article we will discuss why construction disputes are bad for the parties, and how to avoid construction disputes. How to avoid construction disputes
Other useful reading:
Don’t start construction projects without a proper contract
Is Your Construction Correspondence Losing You Variation Claims or Projects?
When Contractors Can’t Claim a Delay From Their Client on Construction Projects
This article is from the webinar Avoiding Construction Disputes by the author and information included in author's book Construction Claims: A Short Guide for Contractors.
This easy to read book demystifies the claims (change order) processes ensuring entitlements are claimed. Learn when you can claim, how to make claims compelling, and the supporting documentation required to win. Your eyes will be opened to numerous events, costs and impacts. Knowing some of these tips could dramatically improve profits and avoid time consuming acrimonious disputes.
Also included is advice for contractors to avoid and defend claims from employers and subcontractors.
© 2021 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
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Copyright 2016 - The attached articles cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without the consent of the author.
The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
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