It’s rare that a building or construction project goes smoothly or to plan and, as a result, construction disputes occur in around 30% of building projects. That’s why it’s important to get pragmatic legal advice before you begin any building projects. Speaking to a solicitor before you begin can keep projects on track and maintain good relationships with your contractors.
The nature of building and construction means that every project contains some levels of uncertainty and complexity. It’s unlikely that anyone entering into a long-term construction transaction can predict every contingency at the beginning of a project or during contract negotiation. Environmental, weather, and staffing troubles can all effect the length and cost of a building project.
Uncertainty will always exist from the outset of any construction project, this is because there will always be a difference between the amount of information required and the amount of information that is available. As forward planning is based on information, uncertainty will inevitably mean that plans have to change during works.
As a result, Jarmans Solicitors always recommend drawing up a bespoke contract that is tailored specifically to your construction project. Avoiding a standard contract can ensure that you and any building contractors that you use all agree on timescales, how you will work through mitigating factors, and any penalties that could be imposed for hold ups or workmanship errors.
Drawing up a specific contract and engaging a specialist solicitor also helps to mitigate potential disputes a number of common reasons for dispute.
Uncertainty and unexpected events can inevitably cause delays. This can create problems when there is a tight timeline for your building work. Trying to accelerate your project to meet deadlines also creates additional costs on both sides which can lead to disputes.
On complex projects there may need to be co-ordination between multiple specialist tradespeople. If work isn’t effectively co-ordinated this can lead to conflicts during the installation and fit-out period.
Errors in the initial design can have a significant impact on construction. Understanding and specifying who is responsible for the initial design can avoid delays and potential conflict.
Disagreement can often occur when there are questions over the quality or specifications of the completed project. This could be because the initial specification was too vague or because the parties involved have different viewpoints over whether the quality and workmanship is of a high enough standard.
When entering into any contractual agreement it’s vital that you understand the difference between statutory obligations and contractual obligations. Ensuring that you have proper legal advice and representation can avoid any misunderstandings over responsibilities and legalities.
Examples include Building and Planning Regulations, The Party Wall Act and Health & Safety legislation. Contractual obligations are set out in your contract and, in many cases, can be delegated out. A building firm, for example, may delegate their contractual joinery duties to another firm.
Jarmans always recommend that anyone entering into a long-term construction agreement obtains specialist legal advice from the beginning of any contract negotiations. We are also available to mediate and advise through discussions and conflict resolution.
Chris took the time to explain several items and offered some very good advice. I will definitely use them again.
Excellent service here. Needed a one off legal document and they were able to accommodate us the next day. We were given good advice. Highly recommend.