Construction issues stemming from improper planning, incomplete designs, and a lack of communication can result in liability issues and nasty legal battles between owners and contractors. But, there is hope. Preconstruction planning and the use of quality preconstruction software can help decrease the liability risks for both owners and contractors – making for a more productive working relationship between the two.
Owners: Reducing Errors Early On
In design-bid-build construction contracts, it is understood that the plans and specifications an owner gives a contractor are accurate and sufficient enough for the project to be built without issue. If this is the case, the designs are initially the owner’s responsibility. Incomplete and/or inadequate designs are common in construction as a whole – a study from Engineers Daily states that design errors account for 38% of the industry’s disputes – and therefore it is incredibly important that owners spend the proper time and money to invest in preconstruction planning and the use of good preconstruction software to minimize errors. Whether the project owner uses a preconstruction software or they are relying on their general contractor’s technology, they need to have confidence that the data provided is giving the project team the best information to make the right decisions to have a successful project. By doing so, owners can bring early issues and potential problems to the surface, lessening the chance for mistakes and reducing risks and liability.
Contractors: Giving More Time To Talk
There are times when liability can transfer from the owner and onto the contractor if a contractor fails to notify the owner of errors they’ve found before making any changes to the project’s design. In the industry today, budgets and deadlines are both very real concerns for contractors, and taking the time to educate owners isn’t always conducive to satisfying these oftentimes conflicting variables. Even when confronted with these project pressures, contractors can drastically decrease their liability when they pause to educate owners on any changes that need to be made. The time and cost savings that contractors can gain from using a high-quality preconstruction software platform give them a larger window to have these conversations while still satisfying the project’s scheduling and budgeting needs.
The Reality & Teamwork
Errors happen, liability is incredibly complex, and it’s hard to find any solution that completely eliminates the risk for both owners or contractors, but investing in good preconstruction software sure helps. Regardless of any legal issues, no owner or contractor wants a contentious working relationship caused by either party failing to do their part. Proper preconstruction planning done in the right preconstruction software helps both respective parties prepare and get on the same page – moving them away from the “us vs them” mentality conducive to legal disputes and into a mindset built for teamwork.