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How do construction disputes typically arise?

Broward County contractors often go the extra mile to smooth over disputes with their clients and avoid the hassle and expense of litigation. But there are times when it's important to take a stance on these matters and fight back.

Below are some of the common scenarios from which construction litigation arises.

The problem of scope creep

The client's contract specifies one course of construction, but they want to change horses in the middle of the stream. Commonly known as "scope creep," these modifications to existing plans can add zeroes to your costs and headaches to your life.

Some problems with scope creep can be averted with clear communication, not just with the client but the subcontractors doing the work. Follow up each conversation with an email reiterating your position and your interpretation of each client or subcontractor request to cover all of your bases.

Delays in submitting blueprints

The blueprints are both a contractor's map and bible. Consequently, nothing can begin or proceed until they are correct and in place. If your draftsman or design professional is dragging feet for whatever reason, your project can founder.

Sequencing problems

The success of construction projects depends upon the seamless coordination of projects from subcontractors who all have separate projects pending elsewhere. Without an orderly transition in place that allows timely access for the workers to get in and do their jobs, the success of your build or remodel is in jeopardy.

Make sure that all permits and necessary easements have been granted ahead of time to avoid unnecessary delays that can throw off a project's schedule.

These are by far not the only monkey wrenches that can send a construction project into protracted litigation. If you see the red flags rising, it's a good idea to apprise your legal counsel of the latest developments immediately.

Source: EC&M, "Confronting Construction Conflicts," Marilyn Klinger, accessed May 25, 2018

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