Building disputes typically arise due to miscommunications. Everyone wants the best for the project, but when a miscommunication regarding, for example, project scope arises, things can turn sour very quickly. But anyone who has worked in the industry long enough will know that there are ways to avoid disagreements in the first place, saving both parties time, money and a tedious argument!
These five essential tips include:
1. Open communication
The most reputable construction dispute lawyers will tell you that, like any relationship, communication is key to avoiding disagreements. These miscommunications typically regard things like building delays, problems with the scope of the build and project variations.
It is therefore imperative that both builder and property owner remain in steady contact and alert the other party if they have a problem or intend to change something – this will help avoid any ongoing issues!
2. Scope of work
Before either party signs a contract, they should hold a consultation to determine the scope of the work being completed. This means determining what, exactly, the builder is going to produce, and what the property owner should expect from them completing this work.
Builders also tend to set some boundaries regarding their services, including what hours of the day the property owner can contact them and how many times a day they can contact them. Along with this, both parties should also set important guidelines regarding payment schedules as well as make allowances for unforeseen delays.
Handling these grey areas before they arise is the best way to ensure that both parties are aware of what is expected from each other and can avoid issues regarding these expectations in the future!
3. Don’t forget the contract
It goes without saying that entering a written contract is essential. Both parties must enter the written contract having both agreed on its clauses. Certain builders may say things like, “oh, we can just have a verbal agreement, no stress”, but there is stress, especially when something goes wrong and you aren’t covered by a written contract.
Problems that arise between builders and property owners that aren’t covered by contract often turn into long winded situations with no conclusive result in sight. Therefore, both parties must create a contract to ensure they aren’t left without the words to back any claims of wrongdoing.
Before signing the contract, it is imperative that both parties fully comprehend its aspects and nature. If either builder or property owner find that some of the wording is a little confusing or perhaps deliberately verbose, then it is always recommended that they contact the best construction lawyers to help with clearing up any confusion before entering the agreement.
4. Be sure to have a contact person in the building firm
For property owners, it’s important they have a direct line of contact within the firm. This way, they won’t find themselves going through the wringer with an endless number of random construction workers.
This should never be the case, and for this reason it is always recommended that you have a specific contact who you are happy to speak with regarding any queries or concerns.
5. Try to keep written documentation
Whilst parties may not always need to communicate through email, it is often advised as each will always have written documentation of what transpired in such communications. What’s more, it never hurts to keep ongoing documentation of times of phone calls and what was said, just to be sure you have a log of communication in case anything unfortunate arises throughout the building process.