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2 ways for construction companies to prevent defect claims

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2023 | Business Litigation |

Whether your organization specializes in upscale kitchen remodeling work or new home construction, your reputation with your customers is crucial to your ongoing success. People recommend you to others, which is likely how you connect with a significant percentage of your new clients.

Complaints from unhappy customers can damage your reputation and might even lead to expensive claims in civil court. Construction defect claims can lead to an award of damages for the plaintiff or an order for the defendant to perform certain work on a property, often without any compensation. The company simply has to absorb the costs of materials and labor.

Construction defect claims can do significant damage to the financial prospects of the company. How can you protect your business from major construction defect claims?

Exhaustively thorough contracts

Miscommunication and unmet expectations are leading causes of construction defect claims. Clients may have a specific vision in mind but may not explain the details, such as the specific finishes that they want.

Clarifying the exact expectations of individual clients in writing and being very specific about what exactly your company will provide is a crucial step in minimizing the possibility of a frivolous claim over something like paint color or flooring. Contracts can give a basic timeline and also provide guidelines for communications and complaints.

Thorough contracts can also help protect by requiring mediation or sit-down meetings prior to litigation. Dispute resolution clauses can be powerful incentives to help settle a matter out of the public eye.

Proactive, written communication

Inevitably, challenges arise during large construction projects. There could be a sudden breakdown of the supply chain for one material or inclement weather that sets the schedule back by two weeks. Companies can limit the likelihood of material substitutions and work delays causing defect claims through timely and thorough communication.

Email is an ideal tool for communicating project changes with clients. You have a record of what you informed them of and their response, which can reduce the likelihood of a claim over changes to the project later.

Of course, no business can completely eliminate the possibility of someone filing a lawsuit or otherwise trying to make an expensive claim related to work already performed at a property. Securing proper representation is crucial for construction companies facing the possibility of defect-related litigation brought by a client.