How to Fight a Dispute Over Materials

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If you know anything about construction, it’s that problems arise.

Imagine you are working on a skyscraper project and you are the structural steel expert.

A shipment of steel was supposed to arrive from Pittsburgh. Emphasis on “supposed to arrive,” because it didn’t. Turns out, the order didn’t go through, and this is the fault of the steel supplier. They are denying any fault.

Time is running out and you are facing deadlines regarding the original project. What is the best action to take?

If you attempt construction claim preparation on your own, are you prepared to sink the man hours needed to complete the claim adequately? Or maybe it’s better to wait for the next shipment of steel to arrive?

The best answer for the structural steel expert in distress is this: resolve the problem! Everything else is details, and it’s management’s goal to help resolve the problem and put everyone back to work.

Now, preparing a claim might be necessary, and it might be the best step. If anything a claim is a solid way to document that something happened that was not the structural steel expert’s fault. So, claim preparation might be a wise step. But if all this distracts you as a builder from the process of completing your other projects on time, you must also be wary of the penalties of going past a deadline.

If fines are more expensive than a lawsuit, go with the lawsuit. If the lawsuit is more expensive than taking some late fees, take some more time to work with the company that made the mistake.

Bio: Lyle Charles Consulting specializes in commercial and residential construction, and Lyle Charles is a structure steel expert and certified expert witness.