How to avoid and manage construction disputes?

What actions should be put in place in order to avoid construction site disputes? How do you best manage a construction dispute? Alobees gives you his advice.

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How to avoid and manage construction disputes?

You are an entrepreneur or a construction contractor. Construction site disputes are a major concern that you may have already encountered. They can not only delay work but also damage your relationship with the customer. Here we discuss strategies to prevent and manage these conflicts, to ensure the success of your projects.

What is a construction dispute?

A construction dispute occurs when disagreements or conflicts occur between the various stakeholders in a construction project, whether it is new construction or renovation. The actors involved can be the project owner, the prime contractor, the contractor, the craftsman, the subcontractor, or the supplier.

These disputes may concern various aspects of the project, such as cost, time, quality of work, and contractual rights and responsibilities. They can also crop up during the work acceptance phase, where customer expectations are confronted with the reality of the completed construction.

What are the most frequent construction disputes?

Construction disputes are therefore varied, but they most often concern:

  • The delay and interruption during the work,
  • Manufacturing defects, imperfections or finishes that do not meet expectations,
  • Invoices for work exceeding the initial estimates,
  • The absence of a precise estimate before the start of the work,
  • Damage caused to equipment or structures during the work,
  • Contractual disagreements concerning the rights, obligations and responsibilities of the parties,
  • The refusal to perform or complete the agreed tasks,
  • Non-payment for work done,
  • Acts of deception or dishonesty,
  • And in the most serious situations, the abandonment and the complete stoppage of the construction site.

Each of these points can be a source of conflict. Appropriate attention and management are required to keep the project running smoothly. They also allow maintaining relationships between stakeholders.

What actions can be put in place to avoid construction site disputes?

To succeed in the construction industry, it is essential to anticipate problems. Here are some actions to put in place from the start of a project to avoid worries: be clear in your expectations, communicate well and always respect what was agreed in the contract.

Put everything in writing: the importance of a clear contract

Whether it is a question of large projects or small trades, a clear contract is strongly recommended. It should clearly specify obligations, costs, deadlines, conditions of implementation works, and associated guarantees.

For large projects, detailed dispute resolution clauses are required. For a craftsman, a mention of amicable resolution may be appropriate. In any case, it is recommended to anticipate disagreements.

Communicate rigorously with all stakeholders

Communication is essential in construction. Organize follow-up meetings to discuss progress and clarify expectations. This allows problems to be anticipated and resolved before they turn into disputes.

With Alobees, each construction site has a news feed where photos and messages from the construction site are shared. Each worker is notified of new publications, strengthening communication and coordination in the field.

Plan the work carefully

Precise site preparation is the key to avoiding the unexpected. Develop a detailed schedule, Allocate resources and coordinate teams to prevent risks and disputes.

With the Alobees planning feature, draw up a schedule so that your teams have the resources they need for the work. Manage and validate its evolution in real time from any device.

Ensure the quality of the construction site

Carefully monitor the construction site is essential. Establish frequent quality checks for guarantee the conformity of the work to standards and contracts, and to detect defects. The photos of the key steps can also be used as proof in the event of a dispute over quality.

Alobees facilitates site monitoring. Consult the agenda of your employees and follow their interventions in real time.

Preparing for the reception of work

The reception phase is a critical moment when the customer evaluates the conformity of the service provided compared to what was agreed in the contract. Be sure to prepare this step well, by checking every detail, identifying a possible defect and by anticipating any remarks or requests from the customer.

Alobees accompanies you in the documentation of each phase of your project. It provides a clear record of what has been achieved and facilitates the relationship with the project owner or contractor.

Carefully keep all documents

Securely store all construction site items, from emails to reports and invoices. These pieces are essential to bring evidence in the event of a dispute and facilitate the resolution of disagreements

Alobees centralizes all key site documents, such as contracts, meeting minutes, technical documentation, photos and videos of the progress of the work.

Subscribe to regulatory guarantees

Unexpected events can quickly impact the profitability of a project. It is therefore important to choose insurance policies that cover risks such as accidents, malfunctions, delays or damage to third parties.

In addition to ten-year insurance, don't forget construction damage insurance, professional civil liability, as well as guarantees of perfect completion and proper functioning (also called a biennial guarantee for complete post-construction coverage).

Conduct regulatory monitoring

Stay up to date with the latest legislative and regulatory developments in construction law. Knowledge and respect laws, standards in force and provisions of the Construction Code are essential to avoid sanctions and legal disputes.

Consider using a regulatory intelligence expert to ensure the compliance of your projects according to the guidelines of the Code. By combining this vigilance with other preventive measures, you minimize the risk of litigation and ensure the success of your projects.

Alobees does not directly offer regulatory monitoring functionality. On the other hand, its all-terrain access allows workers to consult, from the site, the specifications, as well as the documents and standards relating to the execution of the works.

If a dispute arises, how do you manage it?

Despite all precautions, litigation may occur. It is therefore important to manage it effectively and professionally, in order to limit its impact both on the project and on the relationships between the stakeholders.

How to manage the relationship with the customer?

In the event of a dispute, it is essential to maintaining open and constructive communication to resolve the problem in an effective and satisfactory manner for all actors involved.

Communicating with the client, courts are avoidable

Before considering legal action, explore all the ways of amicable resolution. Engage in dialogue with the project owner or company concerned to understand their concerns and find common ground.

Mediation, conducted by a qualified mediator, or arbitration are often preferred. These methods allow disputes to be resolved more quickly and appropriately, thus avoiding the length and costs of legal proceedings.

Managing construction litigation in court

If the amicable resolution is unsuccessful, recourse to High Court (TGI) is becoming necessary for construction site disputes. Before starting any procedure, seek the advice of an independent expert to assess defects, defects or technical disagreements.

If a judicial expertise is ordered, a bailiff may be commissioned to ascertain the facts. Once your file has been created, the procedure takes place in several steps:

  • Referral to the court,
  • Instruction phase,
  • And finally an audience.

Call on a lawyer who specializes in construction law to guide and defend you effectively.

Using software like Alobees, quickly find all the parts related to the open or archived construction site. It is a considerable time saver in such circumstances.

What attitude should you have when managing a construction dispute?

How you approach a dispute can determine its outcome. A professional and constructive approach is key to resolving problems while maintaining healthy relationships.

Remain professional in all circumstances

When faced with litigation, stay calm and be respectful. Avoid unnecessary confrontations and always focus on finding solutions. A constructive approach not only facilitates the resolution of disputes, but also maintains the image of your company.

Learning from your mistakes to improve

Each dispute offers an opportunity for analysis. Study the situation, identify the mistakes made, and consider solutions. Put preventive measures in place to avoid similar incidents. In the building industry, adapting and innovating is the key to sustainability.

By approaching disputes with a collaborative approach and capitalizing on each experience, you consolidate the reputation of your business and strengthen the trust of your customers.

Each project presents its own set of challenges. Alobees is there to turn these challenges into opportunities. With real-time monitoring, precise planning and smooth communication, the unexpected becomes an opportunity for optimization.

Discover for yourself now: take advantage of the limited 30-day free trial and see how Alobees can be the key partner in the success of your projects.

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