Expecting the Unexpected: How Contractors Can Remain Steady in a Tumultuous Industry Part 1
Construction companies must contend with the unexpected on such a constant basis that these disruptions can hardly be called unexpected. Unfortunately, construction defects, delays, injuries, and other issues are commonplace in our industry. In order for a construction company to survive and thrive in this industry, they must prepare in advance for issues that are beyond their control.
In this two-part article, a Ft. Myers construction defect attorney discusses how construction companies can prepare for the unexpected. Many of our recommendations can be implemented immediately, while others will take time and dedication to implement. Remember, contractors do have control over their projects and their livelihoods, regardless of the challenges they face.
Utilize a Force Majeure Clause
There are certain events that can never be mitigated no matter how much you plan for them. Scarcity of supplies, unavoidable fatalities, and natural disasters are just a few examples of these events. While you can’t directly control everything that happens on your project site, you can mitigate their impact through force majeure contract clauses. A force majeure clause reduces liability in the event of the unexpected and uncontrollable. Considering how often Florida is battered by hurricanes, this would be an advantageous clause to have in your construction contracts.
Review Your Contracts
Not every issue that arises on site will be as drastic as those mentioned above. Inclement weather can cause delays without being catastrophic. Change orders can be handled without drastically stalling the project. Again, your construction contract will be vital for determining how situations such as these are handled. Your contracts should already allow time for unexpected delays. If a conflict emerges from these issues, your contract should again stipulate how disputes are to be handled. Many contracts require disputes to be settled through arbitration, an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process that results in saved time and fewer costs.
Preparing for Construction Defects
Perhaps the most unexpected and disheartening issue a contractor can contend with is a construction defect, especially since evidence of a defect is often discovered years after project completion. In the State of Florida, contractors are permitted an opportunity to repair their work once they’ve received a notice of claim. How you proceed from there is up to you. You can proceed with inspections and repair the defect, or you can dispute the claim. Either way, you have a limited timeframe to come to a decision. By signing up for one of our subscription plans, you can ensure that you are always protected by a Ft. Myers construction defect lawyer and prepared for an unexpected construction defect claim.
To read more about how contractors can prepare for the unexpected in the construction industry, read part two.