Building Disputes

Building disputes are common in lots of building projects, ranging from multimillion pound contracts for massive quasi-public bodies to domestic home extensions and refurbishments.

Building DisputesMany building contract disputes stem from problems that are inherent in the contract agreed at the outset, or the failure to agree a contract before work starts.

A dispute may arise out of the time taken for the works to be completed, others can arise due to defects in the works or due to the quality or state of works provided.

By far the majority of building contract disputes result in a payment issue of some kind, and many building disputes end up as an argument over money.

CDR are specialists in building dispute resolution and building contract dispute resolution.

Applying our specialist skills and experience, building contract dispute resolution is achieved as quickly, smoothly and economically as possible through a combination of pressure and negotiation.

Where negotiation fails and a more formal dispute resolution process is needed, CDR can ensure disputes are resolved through adjudication, mediation or arbitration.

Building Disputes – How To Avoid Them

For almost all building projects, including domestic building projects, it is best to have an agreement in writing between the client and contractor, and equally between the builder and its subcontractors, and the client and its professional design team. Even verbal agreements and exchanges of emails can form the basis of the contract agreed, although this is rarely advisable. CDR can advise on the formation of contract, and assist you in understanding what is and is not included in your contract.

To avoid problems such as work not starting on time or delays to completion, the contract needs to set out clearly start and finish dates, as well as any sections and their sectional completion dates.

For all parties involved in a building project, including clients / employers and main contractors, it is vital you correctly identify the party you are in contract with. You have to make sure you have the correct registered company name and address, or in the case of individuals, you have a correct name and address.

The contract has to at the very least set out key issues agreed between the parties, including what the price is, who is doing what work, what the time for completion is, and when payments are due. CDR have twenty years’ experience of negotiating, drafting and agreeing contracts, and can help with all aspects of the process.

Once the contract is agreed and the project under way, monitoring progress of the project throughout the construction phase is vital. This should include regular progress meetings and progress reports from the main contractor or professional team. CDR can assist in project management and reporting by reviewing site progress via detailed site and programme analysis.

Discussing, highlighting and reviewing issues that arise throughout the project, as they arise, can help to avoid disputes at the end.

Some building disputes stem from the works carried out themselves, and often appear as defects or arguments over quality of materials or workmanship. As ever, the starting point is what the contract says about the works in question, but other issues may have to be explored, such as manufacturers and statutory guidelines, or professional good practice. CDR have more than 20 years’ experience in complex defects cases, covering a wide range of technical and in depth issues, including damp problems, mechanical and electrical services, screeds, plaster and render, cladding, scaffolding, groundworks and remediation.