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Construction Disputes - Domestic - Jarmans Solicitors

Construction Disputes - Domestic Overview

Jarmans Solicitors are here to help you with domestic construction disputes

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.

Ineffective management control

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.

Design Errors

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.

Quality and Workmanship

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.

Lack of understanding of contractual terms and statutory obligations

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.

A statutory obligation is something that is imposed by law and may not be in a contract

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.

Need help?

We offer legal advice for Domestic Construction Disputes. If you would like to contact us or book a consultation with a member of our team please fill in the ‘Make an Enquiry’ form or call us on 01795 472 291 or email enquiries@jarmans-solicitors.co.uk


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