When working as a general contractor, it is quite common that you will have to bring in subcontractors to complete certain tasks. On most jobs, the subcontractors will complete the work you need to be done without any trouble and the entire project can be completed successfully. When there are disputes, however, they can become quite costly and even put the entire job at risk. This is why it is so important to take steps to avoid any type of dispute before it occurs. Read on to learn about five practical things you can do to avoid subcontractor conflicts.
Ensure All Contracts are Clear
All relationships between your business and a subcontractor should be governed by a contract. Whenever starting or expanding any relationship with a subcontractor, you need to make sure that the contract you are using is clear and accurate. It should cover all aspects of what is expected of each party and include any additional information that is necessary for completing the job. You can even include instructions for how to resolve conflict and much more.
Identify Steps for Changes
When first starting a job with a subcontractor, the work that needs to be done should be clearly identified in the subcontractor agreement. As the job progresses, however, it is likely that some of the responsibilities will have to be changed or amended. Identifying how this is to be done and what requirements each party will have is important for avoiding conflict.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
Open communication is essential for avoiding conflict. This starts by making sure your subcontractors are able to get in touch with you when they have questions. Additionally, when an issue escalates, make sure you are working to discuss the situation honestly and not just trying to win an argument. When all parties involved are speaking clearly and without strong emotions, it is much more likely that a reasonable solution can be reached. When necessary, bring in an objective third party to help facilitate any discussions.
Prepare for Disagreements
In the event that there is a disagreement, make sure you have outlined how it should be resolved in your contract. This can include details such as what mediator should be used, where lawsuits need to be filed, and more. By outlining these options before there is any conflict, it will be easier to resolve should a disagreement arise.
Review All Contracts with an Attorney
Before you sign any type of contract, make sure you have it reviewed by an experienced construction attorney. We will be able to spot any weaknesses in the contract and determine if it is a good option for you. Contact us to speak with an attorney and have your contracts written up or reviewed right away.