Confronting Common Causes of Construction Disputes in California

Orange County is at risk of losing tens of millions of dollars allocated for a major highway project, according to Orange County Transportation Authority. The California transportation agency plans to expand Interstate 405 over the next few years and its $1 billion budget depends on a new law — passed by California legislators last year — that allows them to use just one company to design and construct the project.

A lawsuit regarding the proposed highway expansion may bring the project to a screeching halt, however. In order for the project to commence on time next year so that it can be completed by 2020, the dispute must be resolved by early this summer. Any delay at this point may push costs up by as much as $30 million per year.

Common Construction Conflicts

While most California construction projects do not have hundreds of million dollar price tags, real estate is not cheap, nor are building materials and all the aspects associated with performing a construction project correctly. Any disagreement regarding the construction process can quickly increase the costs for a project. Therefore, it is important that your project proceed smoothly.

Unfortunately, construction disputes often arise and following are some of the most common areas of conflict in California:

  • Delays: Whether due to poor weather conditions, scheduling mistakes or issues with workers, delays at any stage of a project can chew up time and money very quickly. It is wise to expect delays and address how they will be handled prior to their occurrences.
  • Communication errors: Changes are common during the construction process, whether it is a residential or commercial project. It is vitally important to document all changes made to designs, plans, methods and materials used and communicate those changes to all parties to the project. If, for example, a subcontractor is working off old blueprints, mistakes will occur.
  • Mistakes and defects: Defective or improperly installed items — such as windows, doors or appliances — can quickly lead to problems with water intrusion, causing extensive damage that may not be immediately noticed. Substituting inferior materials for those specified in a construction contract can cause structural issues or disappointment over unrealized expectations.

The above are just a few examples of common disputes arising within the construction industry. It is important not to ignore issues as they arise. Instead, face them with the help of a legal professional.

If You Are Involved in a Dispute

Consult an experienced litigation attorney if you are facing a dispute regarding real property or construction in California. A lawyer knowledgeable about the intricacies of California laws can help you avoid potential disputes and guide you to a remedy if a disagreement or lawsuit arises.