Construction disputes are harmful to both property owners and contractors in New Jersey. However, it is particularly detrimental to the contractor. For one, you may need to stop your project while waiting for the court or arbitration panel to settle the dispute. Furthermore, it may lead to expensive legal costs, delays in billing and cash flow and unfavorable settlements that could potentially jeopardize your business.
Know your contract
Many contractors in New Jersey are so eager to take on projects that they miss or overlook key contractual provisions. Additionally, some clients use the same contract for all their projects, which may not adequately address the particular needs of your project. To avoid construction disputes in New Jersey, it’s critical to read the contract closely and ensure it includes sufficient detail about payment terms, the scope of work, insurance coverage, warranties and dispute resolution procedures.
Establish an open line of communication between you and your client from the start of the project. This will help ensure everyone is on the same page regarding expectations and timelines. Share any concerns or issues promptly so you can address them quickly without leading to a dispute.
Consider keeping detailed notes covering pre-construction meetings, changes made during construction, agreements reached in meetings and any verbal promises made by either party. These notes will be helpful if you end up in a dispute, as they can provide evidence of who is responsible for what.
Organize all relevant paperwork, including drawings and contracts, before the project starts. This will make it easier to reference details or facts quickly if something comes up during construction. Additionally, you should have a system for tracking your expenses related to the project.
Getting a project and successfully executing it is every contractor’s dream. Not only does it gets you paid, but your previous jobs can also help build your reputation. Taking measures to prevent disputes affecting your business or career is thus an important step in the process. Following these tips can help you avoid costly construction disputes in New Jersey and get your projects done on time and with less stress.