Confronting construction conflicts

With tough economic times, construction project participants will be less willing to compromise, which in turn causes more disputes. The main reason for disagreements is due to the fact that construction projects involve many different people from varying backgrounds, who have to adhere to tight deadlines. Here are a few points that will help you resolve your construction conflicts and help build better relationships.

Plans and specifications/scope of work – Most often disputes will arise regarding the contract scope of work, represented by the plans and specifications. These disputes often arise between the owner and the general contractor/subcontractor, contractors and design professionals. Disputes are mainly due to different individuals interpreting the documents differently. To reduce these misunderstandings, include meetings to understand the plans better and to highlight the problem areas that may arise.

Conflicting utilities and other building structures – Often structures will interfere with other areas like mechanical, electrical, life safety, and communications systems. To reduce these problems, invest in 3D modeling that will help all parties understand how to best work together.

Shop drawings and submittals – Shop drawings have to be submitted to different parties working on the construction project to ensure that certain design and construction plans can be followed. However, when one or many parties delay providing their approval, the entire process gets stalled, causing disputes and high costs. To reduce this problem, ensure that the project has a strong coordinator, who will push parties to work together to meet deadlines. Construction consulting firms often offer experienced construction coordinators as consultants to ensure a project runs as planned.

Lyle Charles Consulting recommends implementing the above processes to reduce and remedy construction disputes to ensure that a project is on schedule.