How to navigate construction disputes

In Texas, various challenges can arise during a construction project, leading to conflict and disputes among the involved parties. If not resolved, disputes can escalate, disrupt the project, and cause additional problems.

What started as a simple dispute can escalate to outcomes such as a breached or terminated contract or a claim against a surety bond. The following can help you understand common causes and ways to resolve construction disputes to keep your project on track.

Dispute causes

To minimize or resolve conflicts, it is essential to understand and identify the factors that underlie construction disputes. Issues often come up with contracts, behaviors and uncertainty regarding the project. Recognizing these primary triggers helps formulate effective strategies to anticipate and resolve disputes quickly to keep the work moving forward.

Common dispute topics

Construction projects are structured in ways that can lead to a variety of disputes. These types of projects involve many phases and details, and knowing the typical conflicts can help you take proactive measures to prevent disputes before they happen.

Disputes often occur regarding project delays, changes in finish dates or errors in design. Additionally, arguments may arise over the quality of materials used, conflicting goals and timelines among subcontractors and overall project complexities.

Resolution methods

Various resolution methods have worked to get past disagreements. Parties often start with negotiations as an initial step to reaching a workable agreement. If this step fails, parties can turn to the mediation process, where a neutral third party works with both sides to facilitate a resolution. Many contractors prefer arbitration, which involves a neutral third party but produces a binding decision. In some scenarios, litigation may become necessary, but this is the most expensive and time-consuming resolution.

Preventing disputes

It is easier to prevent disputes than try to resolve them after they arise. Some prevention methods include open communication throughout the project, clear payment terms and milestones, and detailed, meticulous record-keeping. Additionally, understanding the contract terms and adhering to them helps both parties prevent issues.

Construction disputes are common, but you can manage them effectively with communication, clarity and a proactive approach. Understanding and minimizing disputes can maintain project momentum and protect your rights throughout construction.