How can I avoid getting involved in a construction dispute?

On Behalf of | Nov 26, 2021 | Construction Law |

There are a variety of reasons why homeowners hire contractors to work for them here in Kentucky. They may have a renovation project or have recently gotten into real estate investing, for example.

One downside to not having experience in regularly working with a construction company is that you might not know some of the best practices in dealing with them. As a homeowner or novice investor, you can take a few key steps to minimize your chances of having to take legal action against a contractor should your project not go as planned.

Request to see their portfolio and ask for references

The photographs that companies use on their websites may be stock images and not depictions of the work they performed themselves. This is why you should always request that they bring their portfolio when they come out to your property to provide a quote. You should ask them to provide you with references and follow up with them to inquire about their punctuality, dispute-resolution approaches and their work ethic.

Ensure that your contractor is licensed and insured

During your initial phone call, one of the first questions you’ll want to ask any construction company is whether they are both licensed and insured. You shouldn’t just take them at their word. Ask for proof of coverage as well. You can verify their professional license and any disciplinary action previously taken against them.

You should be wary of working with a construction company that skirts around the issue of insurance. Not having coverage may be a sign that insurers see them as too big of a liability risk to insure them.

Put all agreements in writing

A verbal agreement and a handshake no longer have the same value that they might have a few decades ago. The only type of agreement that stands up in a court of law is a written one.

You’ll want to document anything that you agree to in writing, whether it’s the project’s scope, timelines, construction materials that will be used or dispute-resolution approaches that you look to employ if a problem arises.

How to address conflicts

You can do everything imaginable to avoid conflicts, and they might still emerge. You’ll want to be aggressive in addressing them to ensure your rights are fully protected.