Construction companies and contractors depend on building a local reputation to continue attracting new clients. All it takes is a single major claim against a professional or a construction company for some prospective clients to look elsewhere for upcoming renovations, new construction or expansion projects.
Construction defect claims are both reputation damaging and are also often very expensive for the business involved. It can cost thousands of dollars to reimburse someone for work that does not meet professional standards or to perform corrective work without compensation for labor and new materials. Thankfully, there are a few steps that construction companies can take to reduce the likelihood that an expensive defect claim will be filed by a client.
1. Draft very thorough contracts
One of the best ways for a construction company to minimize disputes with clients about the outcome of a project is to have a construction contract agreement that very clearly outlines the expectations for the project. From the proposed timeline to the requested finishes, it is possible to include enough specific details in a construction contract to minimize the possibility of miscommunication and unmet expectations leading to a defect claim.
Construction companies can also require alternative dispute resolution for initial attempts to resolve a disagreement or issue with a project before pursuing litigation, which can help prevent minor issues from snowballing into damaging construction defect claims.
2. Communicate proactively with clients
Even when there are very clear standards in place regarding the timeline for the project, the materials the company will use and other key details, issues outside of the control of the company could arise that will alter the schedule or the materials available for the project.
Construction companies that alert clients as soon as possible about delays due to supply chain issues, a lack of skilled labor or other challenges can prevent rising tempers and frustrations related to delays or increased expenses. Communicating with clients about material substitutions or possible building code concerns in writing will also be important as a means of absolving the construction company or contractor of responsibility for changes that deviate from the original agreement.
Despite every effort to avoid conflict, construction companies may sometimes still find themselves facing claims that they have not met a client’s expectations. Responding appropriately to construction defect claims with the assistance of a legal professional may be as important for a company’s continued success as proactively trying to avoid disputes when taking on new clients.