Mediation 4 Builders
We have a specialist team that has many years of experience in mediating claims arising out of building work around.
No matter the amount of money involved, building disputes can be very stressful, time-consuming and expensive for both parties.
Why Mediation is Better than Litigation?
Those participating in mediation 4 Builders are encouraged to do it actively. Mediation is a party-centred process; it’s focused primarily on the parties needs, interests and rights.
We Will Help You Every Step Of The Way
Mediation 4 builders has dynamics, timetable, structure that “ordinary” negotiations do not have. The process is confidential, private and enforced by law.
What is Mediation?
Also, mediation is evaluative. In the Mediation sessions, we analyse the issues and relevant norms, which is also known as “reality-testing”, without expressing opinions, giving prescriptive advice or making decisions for the parties.
As used in law, mediation is a form of ADR (alternative dispute resolution), a way of settling disputes between two or even more parties with concrete results. Typically, the mediator, a third party, assists the parties in negotiating a settlement. The term “mediation” refers to any situation where a third party assists others to reach an agreement.
Also, participation is voluntary. The mediator is a neutral third party, facilitating rather than directing the process.
If you have any dispute with a builder over the work that he did for you, the PAP (pre-action protocol) for construction and building disputes could be what you are looking for to reach a suitable agreement without having to go to court then you should consider mediation.
The PAP for construction and building disputes sets certain standards in which the parties of a construction or building dispute are required to observe before the proceedings of the court are issued. The goal of the protocol is encouraging the parties exchanging information during an early stage. Another aim is to consider using a suitable form of ADR instead of court action, which can be emotionally draining and unnecessarily expensive.
Following the protocol steps, the claimant allows the defendant to understand fully nature of the claim that has been made against them. Based on that information, they can make a decision on how to react at an early stage.
The protocol objective is to make sure that the parties explore all the alternative ways to legal action and they meet in an effort of ironing out their differences without having to enter into formal legal proceedings.
The Protocol applies to every engineering and construction dispute. That includes professional negligence claims against quantity surveyors, engineers, architects and builders. However, a claimant isn’t expected to abide by the protocol in these circumstances below.
When proceedings of the court are needed to enforce an adjudicator’s decision as to whom the dispute has been referred in accordance with section 108 of the Construction Act 1996.
Where the claimant is seeking summary judgment in accordance with Part 24 of the CPR (Civil Procedure Rules).
Where proceedings of the court include an interim injunction claim
Where the dispute is relating to issues that are identical or substantially the same as the ones that have typically been the subject matter of an adjudication that is recent under the Construction Act 1996, or even some other formal ADR (alternative dispute resolution) procedure.
The Letter of Claim – According to the protocol, in a building dispute, the first action you should take is notifying the defendant (builder) of your claim. The claimant does this by sending to all proposed defendants a letter of claim before starting court proceedings. The protocol clearly specifies the content of the letter. However, there could be terms in the service contract between the builder and you relating to complaints, which might take priority over the protocol.
The Acknowledgement of the Defendant – within 14 days of receiving the letter of claim, the defendant should acknowledge receiving it in writing. At this stage, the defendant can provide the address and the name of their insurer to the claimant. If the defendant does not acknowledge receiving the letter of claim, the claimant has a right to start court proceedings without complying with the protocol. Also, they could request an extension to the normal time that is specified to send an acknowledgement. It is wise that you think very carefully before agreeing to that.
Defendant’s Response – If the defendant acknowledges receiving a pre-action letter, they must make a decision on the response they want to issue.
Objection to the Jurisdiction of Court or the Named Defendant – The letter of claim recipient has 28 calendar days, after receiving it, to raise an objection. It can be on these three grounds:
The defendant who is named is the wrong one
The matter is to be referred to arbitration
The court lacks jurisdiction
The objection should be in writing and specify the section of the claim where the objection relates. Also, it should set out the grounds that are relied on. Where appropriate, if known, it should name the correct defendant. If the defendant lodges an objection as aforementioned, the defendant’s response letter is not needed.
The Process of Mediation
The option of legal action should be considered as a last resort. This even applies when you’re locked into a building, engineering or construction dispute. The pre-action meeting represents the last chance to try and come to an agreement with the other party before the proceedings start sailing into the litigious area.
After exchanging the letter of response and claim, the pre-action meeting is often the step that follows. It is an opportunity for the parties to talk about their grievances before commencing any formal legal action. The two parties have an opportunity of airing their complaints, with the hope to settle matters before taking things through a court case that will be expensive.
A meeting between the two parties should be held no more than 28 calendar days after the claimant receives the defendant’s response letter. If the defendant issues a counterclaim, the claimant will have to respond to this within 14 calendar days and substantive response within a total of 28 days.
If you receive a response that is evasive or unsatisfactory, you could choose to take court action. At this stage, it’s wise that you look for legal advice from a legal practitioner. In the case where they have written a well-considered response, you must advance to the pre-action meeting phase.
Whatever points both parties may dispute, there is no side that is expected to view litigation as the option that they prefer. The pre-action meeting can act as the initial step to ensure that litigation can end quickly, or even avoided altogether.
Pre-action meeting’s purpose is for both parties to talk about the dispute and know its root, aiming towards obtaining a resolution that doesn’t involve the court. If that goal is not reached, the meeting can act as a platform for the parties to discuss litigation details that might occur for it to be well conducted.
More than one pre-action meeting might be required if the first one is unsuccessful. Also, it must be considered whether ADR would be a better option.
Both parties involved in the engineering or construction dispute should have a representative when attending the pre-action meeting. In case the party is one person, he or she will be the representative. In a scenario where a party is a large group (for instance, a company), the representative should be from that company.
Other parties may attend the meeting(s) with the aim of facilitating the discussion. Usually, these are specialists on the kind of dispute that is taking place. If one of the sides needs an expert to be present at the meeting, they should first get the approval of the other party.
The Advantages of Mediation 4 Builders
There are many advantages that binding mediation plus binding mediation offer to the industry of construction as an ADS option. Some of these include the following:
Mediation 4 Builders is much cheaper than litigation because of the following reasons.
Most of the mediators specialising in construction and engineering charge by the hour; the mediation is often completed within one or two days.
Since most of the construction and engineer mediation are conducted within a short period, they take fewer days than litigation. Therefore, the cost of time that you will spend away from your business will be minimal.
Mediation 4 Builders preparation is far simpler and easier than what is required when preparing litigation.
Attorneys aren’t necessary; however, they may participate when a party requests.
In most cases, the mediation is held at the residence that is involved instead of scheduling a visit to a job site and a separate arbitration hearing held at a location that is neutral or litigation held at a jurisdiction court.
In the Mediation4 Builders sessions, they are well-versed in the dispute issues and can help the parties in the opinion and position reality.
The mediation 4 Builders process is much faster than litigation – Typically, the cases of construction and engineering litigation can take several months, a year or even longer just to get a trial.
Mediation 4 Builders allows the chance for parties working together to reach an agreement. It allows them to continue working together to finish the construction project. That usually happens with a great customer referral when the job is done. However, in litigation, most of the time there is a decision or verdict by a judge. Also, the relationship between the parties comes to an end that is unfriendly.
In mediation, both parties are participants. They can express their concerns and opinions. In litigation, the attorneys of the parties are the only ones representing their party, except when the party is taking the stand and the opposing attorney wants to cross-examine the party.
Mediation is so informal – If a construction or engineering contract doesn’t recognise an ADR option, mediation can be scheduled by mutual consent of the parties to the contract.
Mediation is a process that is private. Unlike litigation, mediation is not subject to media attention and public knowledge.
If certain items have been settled or there are a full settlement and an agreement written, the agreement is always enforceable in court. If need be, there will not be any appeals process. However, in mediation, you will find several levels of appeals that are available in an ongoing judicial process.
In mediation, there is no jury. The risk of a large unwarranted award is reduced greatly. That is because the experienced mediator has a full understanding of the construction industry and is a seasoned professional. The mediator cannot be swayed by superficial or emotional arguments.
In mediation, discovery is limited. That means that the attorneys’ of the disputants (if they are involved in the mediation) rarely pursue the fishing expeditions, which is burdensome and occurs in ordinary litigations.
Mediation For Builders?
If you are currently in a construction contract negotiation process, mediation for builders may be the right solution for you.
It is important that both parties understand what the situation is before discussing what to do next. An expert mediator can make things a lot easier and allow both sides to come to an agreement. A professional mediator may also help to set expectations when it comes to things like reimbursement and other benefits. When it comes to mediation for builders, this option should not be overlooked.
Finding the right option for you can be difficult, but it is possible. For example, some companies will provide a written agreement to their clients. These may not be as detailed as an actual mediation program, but the basic terms will be similar. When you have to meet certain requirements and need more information, a written agreement is the best option.
In addition to a written document, a mediator is likely to meet with both parties on a regular basis. This meeting can be scheduled before the negotiation begins or after the completion of the project has been achieved. Most often, the meeting occurs between the construction company and the client. However, it can be conducted separately between the parties if necessary.
The goal of the meeting between both parties is to discuss the issues that have arisen during the project, the future plans and goals of the construction company, and any unresolved issues. Before any discussion is initiated, the client is allowed to prepare a list of items that they would like to discuss at the meeting. This list is then distributed to the negotiators. Both the parties may use the list to facilitate communication during the meeting.
It is always a good idea to bring your business cards and other identification documents with you when you go to a meeting. In addition to a list of questions that you have for the mediator, it is also a good idea to bring along any additional documentation that you feel may be helpful. This may include written agreements or contracts that were signed during the project. It is a good idea to ask any questions that you have before you begin the conversation. If you have any concerns about the mediator, it is a good idea to discuss them before hand so that all questions are addressed immediately.
It may be a good idea to have one or two people attending the meeting. They should be representatives from each party. One of these individuals should be designated as the mediator. In most cases, the individual designated as the mediator will be someone who knows both sides well. This person can help to keep both sides involved during the process and also offer recommendations and insights into the options that may be available to each party.
Negotiate In An Effective Way With Mediation For Builders
When you are interested in starting your own mediation service, it is important that you choose a company that has a good reputation and is reliable.
It will be better to use a company that has been in business for quite some time than a new company.
Most companies have a website where you can learn more about their services. Before you decide on hiring a company, you should know the best way to conduct mediation between the parties involved.
Most people in the construction industry work with several people. When there are several people working together, it becomes hard to find a common ground. One of the reasons why this happens is because people may have different opinions. This is something that should not be a problem if they are represented in a mediation service. There are also cases where the parties may come to a compromise even if both parties do not want to compromise.
A mediator is someone who will help to find the middle ground between both parties. They will work to find the best solution for all parties involved. One of the main things that a mediator does is to try to get the parties to agree about the best option.
When looking for a mediator, it is important that you get a mediation service that specializes in mediating between builders and contractors. This will ensure that you get the best results. Many times a company will recommend a mediator based on his/her previous experience. However, this is not always the case. You should make sure that the mediator you are going to hire is experienced enough.
Once you have found a professional mediator, you will need to determine if you want to go through a process of hiring a contractor to help you work with the mediator. The main reason that you will want to use a contractor is that you want the process to be streamlined and faster. You should choose a contractor that can handle all of the legal documents involved with your mediation. This can include the agreement between you and your builder. You can find a lot of information about a professional contractor on the internet. Make sure that you do your research and choose a contractor that will work with you.
The mediation service that you choose will depend on whether or not you want to hire a contractor to work with your mediation. If you are happy with using a professional mediator, then you will be happy with using a contractor as well. If you are not happy with using a contractor, you can still use a non-professional mediation service. Remember that mediation can be very beneficial to everyone involved.
How Can Mediation For Builders Help A Construction Project?
Mediation for Builders is a process where an agreement can be drawn up between the parties to a dispute in order to avoid potential conflict in the future.
There are various reasons why a project might need mediation.
For example, disputes over construction and other projects may arise if there are problems that arise during the course of the project and these problems have to be resolved prior to construction is able to take place.
Mediation can be used to help with the preparation of agreements and the various aspects of the project can be discussed in order to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. This is particularly useful for those contractors that may be involved in the construction project and who do not have experience in this area of mediation.
The most common reason why a project will require mediation is that it can sometimes be difficult to find a resolution to disagreements between different parties, or even a way in which to resolve disagreements between parties that are not directly related to the project. For example, a dispute over a property line may not be a problem that can be resolved by working through lawyers, but disputes that are related to the overall design of the project can be a lot more complicated and take a lot longer to work through than those disputes that occur between contractors and their employees.
It may also be helpful to use mediation in order to reduce costs in a project. Mediation can be used in order to help with setting reasonable rates for materials and to help with finding cost effective solutions to issues relating to materials or labour.
Mediation for Builders can often be very effective, especially if there are multiple parties involved in the project. This is especially true if there are multiple parties with diverse perspectives and interests.
However, there are some circumstances where mediation may not be helpful, for example if a dispute involves an architectural project or a project involving construction of a commercial building. In these cases it is very important for the parties involved to come together before going ahead with the mediation process, as it can be quite possible for them to disagree on what needs to be resolved and how the mediation should be conducted.
If this happens then it is important for the project to be represented by a professional who has had considerable experience in this type of case. It is also important to find a person who understands the legal system and who can explain the process to the parties effectively so that they can reach a conclusion that is acceptable to all involved.
Finally it is also important to remember that in most cases, mediation for builders is not considered a guarantee that the project will be successful. In many instances it is the parties who have to come to a mutual agreement on the settlement of a dispute, and that the case is usually a matter of trial and error. The best thing to do if a dispute is not resolved is to proceed with the arbitration process and see what the outcome is.
Areas We Mediate On
Mediation 4 Builders as it implies a dispute resolution procedure.
Which an unbiased third individual, who has no authority to force a decision if the parties do not agree to settle the dispute, assist the parties to achieve an agreement by concentrating on the critical issues for a situation, exchanging data between the parties and investigating alternatives for settlement.
Mediation 4 Builders implies a dispute resolution procedure in which an unbiased third individual, who has no authority to force a decision if the parties do not agree to settle the dispute, assist the parties to achieve an agreement by concentrating on the critical issues for a situation, exchanging data between the parties and investigating alternatives for settlement.
Contract Disputes –
This is where builders and homeowners can’t agree what’s in the content of the contract, costs and other things. Mediation 4 Builders is an incredible form of resolving contract disputes. Any circumstance that would make some way or another have parleyed can be solved. In most contract question the gatherings could profit by mediation. Regardless of whether the issues are so mind-boggling and passionate that assertion or prosecution is inescapable, the problems can be limited by first presenting the question to mediation.
Resolutions For Homeowners and Builders
Large building projects, such as extensions, will often require special planning permission for the go-ahead. Depending on what area you reside in, this can often be a rather lengthy and frustrating process.
Your project manager should be able to give you some help and advice on how to proceed with things.
However, in some instances, you come across issues with planning permission, be it delays, lost cases or even being denied planning once the construction has started. Not only will this put a spanner in the works on your building project, but it can also leave you in a tough spot with the builders. The same applies if you are the project manager or a builder and the homeowner has failed to get the necessary permission from the local council mediation 4 Builders helps with these regulations.
If you find yourself in a position of being stuck in a planning and building permission dispute, there are several things that you can do in order to resolve and rectify the issue. Read on to find out some of the options that are available to you.
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Gather the Contracts
The first step is to get all of the contract and documents relating to the project at hand. You will want to sift through these and see what clauses were built in. What does it say about building permission? Who is at fault if the building permit is not grated. A good contract will state whose responsibility it is to apply for the building work. By first going over the contracts with a fine-tooth comb, you can know exactly where you stand and how to proceed. For larger projects, you may even want to hire the help of a knowledgeable property lawyer who may be able to spot things that you might have missed.
Once armed with your knowledge of the contracts, you should start to communicate with the other party. If you’re a homeowner and you think the project manager is to blame, then clearly state your case to them. Tell them what you found in the contract and how you think the issue should be resolved by them. On the other hand, if your the project manager, and you feel like the homeowner should have been responsible for the planning permission, then point out the area in the contract that backs up your case.
Try to Come to an Agreement
After talking things through, you should see if you can come to a mutual agreement about the situation and the best ways to proceed. Perhaps this will be putting a hold on the building work until permission is granted. Or it may be that someone needs to reapply or appeal a decision. Either way, look for solutions and see what you can both agree on.
If the contract does not mention much about planning permission, or perhaps you are having trouble communicating with the other party, then you may want to seek the help of a mediator.
A construction specialist mediator is a well-trained individual whose main job is to attempt to bring two parties together in a resolution.
Although meditation 4 Builders will cost you, it will be sure to save you time and money and a lot of hassle too.
Sometimes damage to property happens It can cause a big fallout between homeowners and builders. Situations can occur when third parties like materials are delivered to site and the driver runs over a perfectly landscaped garden or damages a fence.
These things happen and can cause stress and cost so mediation is a perfect solution.
Other situations can cause property damage can include using wrongly specified materials which can impact the structure.
When home builders and owners come together to put up a house/property conflicts are prone to arise. However, the main focus should be on mediation first as a means to solve the issues. Mediation4Builders ensures that both parties are put in a win-win situation.
According to studies, 80% of the issues related to construction involving owners and builders that have used mediation have been resolved successfully.
Furthermore, it is less costly and saves a lot of time compared to other methods.
This generally proves that mediation is one of the best methods ever.
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One of the most common areas of dispute between Builders and Homeowners relates to the type, specification and quality of the materials used by the Builder in the construction project on which he has been instructed.
The law covering this area is fairly clear and was recently enhanced by the Consumer Rights Act of 2015. The position is essential that materials provided by the Builder for use in the project should be of satisfactory quality, be fit for their purpose, and should match their description.
Trying to interpret what these terms mean can be a rich area of dispute in itself. Let’s look at a few scenarios that could arise:
– Householder chooses a cooker/Hob to be built into a new kitchen. It’s not only that the cooker must work properly, but it must also be the specific make and model chosen by the Householder and have all the features promised. Here clearly the law states the cooker must match its description.
– If the Builder installs a faulty pipe in the kitchen or bathroom that leaks water, the allegation would be that the pipe is not of satisfactory quality.
– If the material is used on a door or roof that is not waterproof and lets in water, the allegation would be that the material is not fit for its purpose.
These sort of issues can arise in any building project, large or small and can soon turn into a serious problem. The stressed Homeowner dreaming of his new kitchen doesn’t get what he thinks he’s ordered.
And the Builder gets a disgruntled customer, possible damage to their reputation and a hit to his cash-flow, if the customer is withholding payment – disaster all around.
So what can be done to avoid this?
The good news for both sides is that increasingly Mediation4Builders is being used to solve these type of problems, rather than court proceedings, which are fraught with risk and can be hugely expensive and stressful.
The real beauty of Mediation for both Homeowner and Builder is that it attempts to lower the temperature between the parties. And reopen closed lines of communication so they can engage again on a reasonable basis. And reach a sensible, fair and measured agreement at a fraction of the cost of court proceedings.
Again, the new Consumer Rights Act helps because it imposes a requirement that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which covers Mediation, should be explored before court proceedings.
The process of Mediation is straightforward; a Mediator, who will usually be an expert in the field and accredited to a professional mediation association, is chosen and the parties agree on how any costs will be shared or paid, and then they are essentially ready to go.
Other advantages are that the process is confidential so anything said cannot later be used in any subsequent court proceedings if mediation fails. And this again encourages people to speak freely and facilitates early settlement.
The success rate for Mediation is high, so both Builder and Homeowners need have no fears when embarking on a new project. That any dispute will get out of hand because mediation is there to smooth out and resolve any such problems.
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There can be many situations that lead to a building job not being completed. Examples like disputes between the homeowner and the builders, the building company stop trading or due to cash flow challenges etc.
Building construction disputes have a tendency to pick up a bad temper quickly. It is advisable to seek mediation. In most cases, the parties involved often will want to prove themselves right by every means and deny responsibility. But there is another option Mediation4Builders
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In case negotiation between individuals fail, it is important to seek mediation from a neutral point to make sure every party is satisfied.
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What To Do When A Job Overruns
So you’ve hired a team to build a new home extension, or perhaps you’re installing a pool in your garden. Either way, these types of projects can easily, and often do, overrun the estimated completion time. Not only is this frustrating, but it can also be costly too. Read on to find out what you can do in the event of a project over running in time.
Before You Begin
Let’s first take a look at the main reasons why a job may overrun. The first common issue is that there has not been enough manpower to complete the job. Perhaps some builders didn’t show up, maybe some took sick days – this can all result in the project behind schedule.
Another issue is poor planning during the bid stage. Perhaps the people you chose to work with greatly underestimated the amount of work needed and how long it would take. In some instances, the project manager may have intentionally shortened the project completion process in order to secure your bid, and then hit you with additional charges at a later date.
Communication is Key
This saying certainly runs true when it comes to attempting to fix and figure out the reasons being overrun projects.
The best place to start is by communicating with the project manager and builders who are working on the project. Calmly and politely ask them about the issues that they have been facing.
What has slowed down their project and work?
How can they help to speed things up?
What do they need?
You’ll often find them to be both helpful and honest in their answers.
Know Your Rights
After you’ve found out the why’s it’s time to look at your rights as a homeowner. This is where your contract comes in handy. You should have signed a contract prior to any work commencing which detailed the project length and cost. In this document, you may also find information as to what happens should the job overrun. Typically this will be an additional cost for labour. Read through the contract, or have a lawyer assist you with this to make sure that you don’t miss anything.
How Mediation Can Help
Building work Mediation plays a huge role in successfully helping with overrun job contracts. It will typically involve both parties sitting down with a knowledgeable mediator. If you’re having an issue communicating with your project manager or builders, then this is the best way to go. Mediators have the tools and skills to be able to quickly resolved issues in the most efficient manner. Although a mediation service will come with an extra fee, it will be sure to save you plenty of time and money in the long run.
Preventing Future Job Overruns
It’s worth noting what you can do to prevent the time-consuming issue of jobs overrunning in the future. The first is to really work with a company that you know and trust.
Perhaps you can get reviews from friends and family and to people who have done a good job for them in the past.
Follow the above tips and you will be well on your way to resolving job overrun issues and preventing new ones. Good luck.
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When additional costs are discussed during a building job it can cause issues and disputes. The homeowner wasn’t expecting and the builder feels the additional cost is justified. We can help you find a middle ground and agreement without spending lots of money on courts and Solicitors costs.
Homeowners and builders just like any other people are bound to get into disagreements. When conflicts arise, it is important that both parties put aside their differences and try to resolve the issue. This can be done with the help of a mediator. Below are some of the issues that may arise between homeowners and builders and how mediators can help.
It is evident that between homeowners and builders unavoidable. If they do arise, the best way is to look at how you can solve them and involving a mediator has been proven to be a very good method to do so.
This is because Mediation4Builders analyse the conflicts without bias and assists both parties to reach win-win solutions with our mediation sessions.
Objection To Bill
Example – When Sam and Julia got the bill for recent construction work on their home, they objected.
The bill was almost 40% higher than the agreed price. Lily knew that while the construction was on, heavy winds had blown some slates off the roof. The builders had been obliging and fixed the problem. But Julia felt that the bill was very high for ‘a few simple repairs’. So the couple refused to pay.
Dispute With Construction Company
The building company insisted on their payment. They advised that it was all fair. Julia refused to pay and insisted on a revised bill. The stress was having an adverse effect on the couple’s life. Julia didn’t care even if the building company took them to court.
The company approached the couple. They suggested that both sides should meet in the presence of a mediator to discuss matters. Sam and Julia agreed.
They had checked the cost of going to court and their confidence was low. So they the couple and the builder met in the presence of a mediator. The mediator had a background in law and construction.
Mediation – Sam & Julia
Sam and Julia explained that they had asked the builder to build a kitchen extension. They’d wanted to convert their kitchen into a kitchen-cum-dining room. Then their growing family could sit and eat together.
During construction, there was a heavy storm in their locality. Some tiles had fallen from the roof. As the builders were present, Sam had requested them to fix the damage.
The company summoned their roofers. But as Julia explained, how could a few simple repairs be so expensive? The company were, in her opinion, taking advantage of the situation to make money.
The builder agreed with Julia’s story, up to a point. They explained that their roofers had discovered flaws in the roof’s construction. No-one told the couple this when they’d purchased their house.
The builder had suggested immediate repairs. They had explained the cost involved. They advised Sam that it would be better to strengthen the roof. Especially while workers with roofing skills were available.
They advised that next time there was a heavy storm, the house would be strong. They even produced a document signed by Sam, agreeing to their suggestion. Sam claimed to have forgotten signing the document. He blamed that on the stressful situation he’d been dealing with at the time.
Resolution of the Building Dispute
The company explained that its profit margin on the roofing job was quite minimal. They wanted payment of the materials used and the work done by their roofers. Adrian explained everything to the couple. It turned out that Julia had not understood how things had been with the roof.
She had not been in the house at the time. She and her children had been staying with relatives while Sam had been managing the work at home. Sam and Julia agreed to pay the bill. But they requested some time to do so. The builder agreed to accept payment in instalments from the couple, at no extra cost.
Specifications related to a building include plans, elevations, and items to be used in the project. It lays down the parameters of how the building would be constructed. The list of specifications renders clarity to the project, and fix expectations.
Usually, the homeowner decides on the specifications or approves the list of specifications drawn up by the architect and designer. Such specifications are included in the building contract and form the basis of the construction agreement with the builder. Disputes over the scope of work, as represented by the specifications and the accompanying plan, is of the most common type of dispute associated with construction projects.
Disputes related to specifications usually take place between the general contractor or subcontractor and the owner. At times, the dispute may be between contractors and design professionals who interpret specification related documents differently. Different interpretations creep up when the specifications are ambiguous in some instances, or when plans run contradictory to specifications.
When an aspect of the specification may be vague, it leads to different interpretation and expectation-mismatch between the builder and homeowner. At times, the builder may deviate from the specification when the work is executed, owing to practical difficulties, technical limitations, or even plain oversight.
Any building project usually comes with an implied warranty from the building owner regarding the accuracy and technical soundness of the specifications. Disputes may arise when the owner tries to shift the responsibility to the contractor, and the contractor, in turn, tries to invoke the implied warranty.
Mediation4Builders is an effective means to solve specification related disputes. Mediation involves a neutral third party helping the disputing parties to resolve conflict, by applying special negotiation and communication techniques.
The expert construction mediator brings both parties together and tries to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution to the dispute. They listen to what both sides have to say, and presents the other’s point of view to a party, in an agreeable way. A good mediator looks into the laid down specifications in the contract, to determine if the builder has deviated from the agreed-upon specifications.
They would also look into industry standards and best practice, to see if the specifications demanded by the building owner is reasonable, or even technically feasible. Unlike an arbitrator, the mediator, however, does not impose a decision on either party. The mediator rather makes an effort to make both parties see the other parties point of view, and reconcile the difference.
Effective building mediation helps both parties arrive at a common ground, and thereby resolve disputes amicably. The mediator strives to deliver a win-win solution, acceptable to both parties. The mediator has many tricks up his sleeve. Including making parties realise the time-value of money, and making them understand a present compromise may be better than a costly and time-consuming legal process.
For instance, consider a recent case, where a builder ‘won’ £5,000 in court, but ended up paying £13,500 in legal fees!. The best approach is of course to pre-empt situations which could lead to a dispute. Make sure the specifications are vetted by technical experts, and are practical, or doable, before executing the contract with the builder. When disputes are inevitable despite the best efforts, rely on a mediator with experience, integrity, and technical competence.
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