What Is A Construction Defect Dispute?
A construction defect dispute can arise when there are deficiencies or issues in the construction of a structure that lead to conflicts between the parties involved in the construction project. The parties involved may include homeowners, strata, contractors, subcontractors, engineers, architects, local municipalities, and insurers.
Common Construction Disputes
Construction defects can appear in different forms. The most common construction defects you might deal with include design errors, poor workmanship, time delays, and the use of inferior materials.
Design errors refer to deficiencies or mistakes in the architectural structure of a building or project. They often need to be corrected or altered, which can increase the time and money spent on a project. Some examples of design errors include inaccuracies in structural design leading to insufficient support, incorrect calculations of load-bearing capacities, or flaws in the layout or functionality of spaces.
Poor workmanship involves problems relating to the quality of the construction work performed and the execution of the project according to industry standards. Poor craftsmanship in carpentry, masonry, electrical work, or other trade areas, improper installation of building components and equipment, and negligence in adhering to construction standards and practices are all examples of poor workmanship.
Time delays in construction projects are one of the most common construction disputes. They often occur in residential and commercial projects and, sometimes, are extremely difficult to avoid. Often, delays in obtaining proper permits, unforeseen weather or site conditions that hinder project advancement, and poor project management can all lead to delays.
The types of materials used in a construction project can often lead to disputes primarily due to the impact on the building’s quality, safety, and longevity. Construction disputes over materials occur when the contract does not clearly outline which materials will be required for a particular scope of work.
Legal Options For Contractors And Property Owners
If you are facing a potential construction defect dispute, there are various legal options available for contractors and property owners:
- Negotiation is an informal and collaborative process where the parties involved focus on discussing their interests rather than their positions without a third party.
- Mediation is a structured, facilitated method where an unbiased third party, the mediator, helps the parties resolve their dispute. This is an alternative option to going to court. The mediator does not make any decisions but helps to facilitate communication.
- Arbitration is a more formal approach where an impartial third party, the arbitrator, makes a legally binding or non-binding decision after reviewing evidence and hearing arguments from both parties involved.
- Litigation involves resolving disputes between parties through the courts, where the parties involved present their respective arguments and evidence before a judge.
If you are a contractor or property owner dealing with a construction defect dispute, there are many legal options available to resolve it. Our construction law team has extensive and broad experience in all areas of construction law-related matters, and this depth of experience and knowledge has given our clients a competitive advantage in dealing with the complexities of the construction industry.
Our team at Baker Newby is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to book an appointment with one of our knowledgeable lawyers.