One of the most frustrating problems that a professional contractor can face is dealing with a dispute about a job. It can be sour a relationship and generate a lot of stress for both parties. The most common type of construction dispute is when the client wants something that is disagreed upon on if it is part of the original scope or something additional that will require a change in the order and additional funds.
Nobody likes filling these out, especially in detail. But it is a good habit to get into, because in the long run, it can save you a lot of arguments and headaches.
To avoid this problem and minimize the risk for disputes Jim Archbald, a contributing writer for Concrete Executive magazine and construction lawyer with Archbald, Smith, and Kline recommends that contractors insist or supply written contracts that clearly and specifically define the scope of work. If the scope of a job was too quickly put together, has unclear specifications, and confusing or no drawings, that is typically a good indication that the contractor and the client won’t be on the same page. And when contractors and clients aren’t on the same page, usually that leads to flared tempers and unhappy people.
Always make sure that the project scope is thoroughly and accurately completed and reviewed by both parties before signed and the project begins. While it can be tempting to hastily put documents together and take shortcuts so the work can begin quicker, this will only lead to headaches and potential disputes down the line.
Additionally, before a project has begun, both parties are still in a position to peacefully negotiate and afterthoughts for the original plan as both sides still have some flexibility with time and funds. And if an agreement cannot be met, then either side can walk away before investing time and energy, and most importantly, can do so without having to involve lawyers.
Ultimately, that is the point of putting in the extra
You definitely want to avoid seeing these guys.
time to complete a highly detailed work scope with proper definitions, project specifics, and accurate drawings. You want to make sure the client knows exactly what he gets at what price and within what timeframe. Make it clear that any changes to this agreed upon plan may take additional time and money.
It is much easier to come to a peaceful solution before any money is on the table and people aren’t backed up against time and budget constraints. It is said “the devil is in the details,” and that is certainly the case for construction scope documents. The more detailed your scope, the better your position should a dispute come up later.
Source July 2012 Concrete Executive Magazine, Jim Archbald