Construction disputes are very common. The reason for this is that construction is extremely complex. The owner's view of what the project should look like may vary greatly from the architect or contractor's view. Additionally, there are different levels of quality and minimum standards of care which must be met when a construction professional completes a construction project.
It is important to resolve the construction dispute as early in the process as you can. If they are not resolved, they can become very expensive because of financing costs, opportunity costs, and time in addition to attorneys fees and the dispute resolution process itself. A lawyer can help expedite the dispute resolution process by bringing in construction experts at an early phase.
In addition to court, and ultimately arbitration, there are alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods being used in the construction industry. Common methods are:
1) Step Negotiation: This involves direct negotiation early in the process.
2) Dispute Resolution Boards: These are experts who visit the site and monitor the progress. This is used for a basis for further step negotiations.
3) Mediation: A forum using an impartial person to help the parties negotiate directly.
4) Arbitration: This is a judgmental process. See the "Arbitrations" page for more information.
Bringing a lawyer into the construction dispute resolution process early can save time and money and help the homeowner, contractor, or subcontractor obtain a successful resolution of the dispute.