Disputes with Real Estate Completion Issues
Real Estate construction completion issues are common in construction projects. Because of this, most construction contracts contemplate what will happen if there is a delay. If the owner is responsible for the delay, the contractor may receive an extension without penalty, an increase in the amount payable by the owner, or both.
Disputes over completion issues can become very heated. Each party has an opinion as the cause of the delays, and blame often goes flying around the meeting room.
One way to avoid these disputes is to protect yourself in your contract. An experienced attorney knows how to protect their client in a contract.
Or, if the contract is already signed, an attorney can levelheadedly explain your position and why the delays are not the result of your errors and should not result in your breach of contract. You may think that you cannot afford an attorney, but they are often more affordable than you may think.
And, you may not be able to afford not having one.
How to Protect Yourself from Completion Issues
Many completion issues arise because, while the completion date may be set some time in advance at the time of contracting, there is a delay before the contractor is able to begin work. One way to avoid this is to require the owner to issue a notice to proceed before the contractor is to begin work. If the notice is late, then the contract should automatically award the contractor an extension of similar length.
Another method to avoid completion issues is to contemplate extensions in the contract if the owner, their agent, or another contractor causes the delay. In a separate clause, also allow for extensions if the delay is due to those unattached to the project, such as common carriers and suppliers, unusually bad weather, or other problems.
In planning your bid and your work on the project, be mindful that some delays are not excusable under the law. These generally include:
- Weather conditions that should have been anticipated.
- Problems with subcontractors.
- Failing to evaluate the project site fully.
- Failing to supervise the project.
- Failing to use proper equipment.
- Removal and replacing nonconforming work.
To avoid these inexcusable delays, be sure to maintain detailed schedules that establish dates for the milestones of your part of the project. Further, when things outside of your control affect this schedule, communicate these problems with the owner early. Such communications can help prevent small delays from causing further legal issues.
Attorney Rob Cohen has helped contractors and subcontractors deal with completion issues in Northern Illinois for nearly two decades. Rob understand that his construction client often need quick results without having to pay too much, and Rob strives to end disputes before they can fester.
If you face a dispute over construction completion, contact us at 847.256.0800 for a free consultation.