Common Legal Disputes on Construction Projects Can Arise

The world is experiencing extensive growth, but companies are still working on limited budgets. Therefore, legal disputes on construction projects are likely to occur. Sometimes, a project participant might be unwilling or able to compromise during the project. Thus, these legal disputes are often handled by the courts and sometimes result in lawsuits.

Plans and Specification Disputes

A typical construction business dispute can affect the scope of work through plans and specifications. Typically, these disputes occur between the property owner and the general contractor or their subcontractors. Design professionals may interpret the project differently, or a general contractor may misunderstand the plans delivered by a design professional.

This is especially prevalent when the scope of work is ambiguous, or if the plans are contradictory to the specifications provided to the construction team. If there is an implied warranty associated with the work, then the owner may feel that the job was not completed to their satisfaction and may require a change.

Subcontractor and Contractor Disputes

General contractors employ multiple subcontractors to handle various tasks, such as plumbing, electricity, or concrete. The subcontractor is required to submit a bid to the project based on the scope of work. The scope of work estimate is often made without detailed plans or specifications; therefore, a subcontractor may find the need to charge more for services after the job is complete based on the additional work required.

This scope of work disagreement and payment issue can lead to a dispute between the general contractor, subcontractor, and the owner of the project.

Construction Defect Disputes

When the construction is underway, the property owner may find work that does not conform to the plans or specifications of the project. If the subcontractor or general contractor does not agree with the claims of the owner, a dispute ultimately occurs.

The general contractor’s agreement will typically require them to remove and replace any defects. However, if the general contractor or subcontractor refuses, the project may be on hold until the dispute is resolved.

Resolving a Construction Dispute Out of Court

When construction disputes arise, it is best to retain legal counsel. Whether you are the property owner or the owner of a construction company, disputes that go to court are costly and can hold up your project—which affects company revenue and time. By working with an attorney, you might be able to resolve the dispute by reviewing contracts, analyzing clauses, and coming to a mutual agreement with the other side.

For assistance with a construction project dispute, speak with an attorney from Udall Shumway, PLC.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Legal Disputes on Construction Projects, or any other litigation matter, please feel free to contact us at 480.461.5300,  log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.