Preventing and Managing Construction Claims

Association of Construction & Development
November 11, 2013 — 1,561 views  

Anytime a building is constructed, there are bound to be claims. These claims arise because of defects in the building or faults in construction. The claims are expected to be paid by the building engineers and contractors to the customers. The engineers and contractors should try their best to minimize these claims and waivers. There are several steps that they can take to do so.

Provide Accurate Information

The building designers and engineers should ensure that accurate information is provided to the customers upfront. It is essential that any misunderstanding should be resolved in the beginning itself. If the customer has any doubt at this point, he should get it cleared with the engineers and project managers. The information provided can be later checked in case any discrepancy is found. The information should be verified at every stage of the process. The Spearin doctrine should also be kept in mind, stating that the builder is not responsible if things go wrong once the customer is provided with all accurate information.

Use Disclaimers

The engineers should clearly specify any faults that might arise. This can be done on the basis of history of construction and past observations. Certain components of any construction are more likely to fail than others. This should be noted in the beginning itself. The customers should be informed about these risks in the beginning in the form of disclaimers. The disclaimers should be accurate and should not hide anything. The customers should read the disclaimer carefully before the construction work begins.

Provide Quick Solutions to Problems

In case a problem arises, the engineers should provide a mechanism to resolve it as quickly as possible. This can go a long way in reducing and preventing construction claims. It is best if the engineers and project managers keep a team ready to deal with these kinds of situations. They should make use of a well trained staff of engineers who can solve construction problems on short notice. This will help to gain the trust of the customers. The customers will then realize that they are being taken care of and the building will be fixed quickly if it suffers from any problems in the future.

Provide compensation in case of loss

In case if everything fails, and the building does suffer from an irreparable damage, then the construction managers and contractors should provide compensation to the customers. The compensation should be directly proportional to the actual loss caused. This will help the customers to overcome the loss caused by the building damage. The customers perceive that the damage was caused during the construction, they therefore expect that the construction engineers provide compensation for their loss.

In conclusion, it can be said that construction claims can cost a lot of money to those doing the construction. It is, thus, mandatory to make sure that the construction work follows all the guidelines. The engineers and construction managers should ensure that the information is accurate. If a claim arises, it should be paid and closed as soon as possible. The managers should ensure that claims do not stay waiting. Only then will the customers have trust in the construction managers and will be willing to accept the construction deals.

Association of Construction & Development