Building & construction work is done by real people – not machines. And this means that sometimes things are not perfect. Occasionally they are imperfect because for technical reasons they were never going to be. Sometimes, things simply go wrong. But whatever the cause, there is no excuse for the paperwork not to be perfect.
As every builder knows, an untrained person can’t build – it needs professional skill. It is the same with building contracts. Only a trained professional (a lawyer) can draft a building contract well.
At Jankus Legal we know our way around construction contracts. We ensure that what is signed reflects what is meant to happen and then make them work for you.
As you have probably worked out, a builder does four things and the owner/Principal does two under a construction contract.
Builders must ensure that the work is done:-
- on time
- on budget
- as agreed and
- in accordance with the law.
The owner/principal must
- allow the builder to build and
- pay all proper invoices presented to them in full.
…..which is all very simple until communication breaks down, paperwork is not done or unexpected things happen on site. As that is when disputes occur.
The ability to properly communicate of good news and bad cannot be underestimated as a relationship built on good communication will always be better than one which is built on bad. On a building site, there are times where communication can be informal – such as an update of current status. However, there are also times when communications must follow the requirements of a building contract – such as where the current status is that something has happened that requires an extension of time to complete the works.
In short, it is always better not to get involved in construction disputes – as there are generally no winners (other than experts and lawyers). So the time spent in getting to know your building contract then managing it.