The Most Common Causes of Construction Disputes

December 14, 2021


Construction disputes are common in the building industry. They can happen for several reasons, but it is essential to know about the most common causes so that you can avoid them. This blog post will discuss some of these causes.

Injuries at the Workplace:

One of the most important parts of a construction project is safety. If anyone gets injured, there can be a lot of problems that may arise from it and cause conflicts between you and your client(s). This can include anything from a worker getting injured on the job.

When a worker lacks proper safety gear and gets injured, the employer may be held liable. This can cause a dispute between you, the employer, and your client. Ensure that everyone on the job site is safe and has all of the proper gear before starting work.

Quality of Construction:

Another common cause of construction disputes is a discrepancy between the quality of work specified in the contract and the quality of work delivered. This can be due to several factors, such as poor craftsmanship or materials that do not meet specifications.

For example, if a building owner and general contractor agreed that the frame of an office was to be constructed with steel beams measuring four inches wide by eight feet long but instead received beams measuring only three inches in width and six feet in length, this would likely lead to a dispute.

In another example, suppose laborers weren't skilled enough or materials used were subpar than agreed upon in the contract. There are circumstances where the contractor can still be at fault even if the quality control was not their responsibility.

In both of these examples, a contractor would need to protect their business.


Delays are another common cause of construction disputes. Delays can be caused by several factors, such as bad weather, supplier issues, or labor strikes.

If a contractor cannot meet the agreed-upon completion date due to delays outside of their control, they may be able to claim force majeure.

However, for delays that are the contractor's fault (or subcontractors), they must make sure they have a clause in their contract indemnifying them from any financial liability resulting from these types of issues. Otherwise, if they do not fulfill their contractual obligations on time and this is determined to be due to their actions, a court may hold them liable for any damages incurred by the project owner as a result of the delay.


Another common cause of construction disputes is nonpayment. No matter how well a client and contractor may communicate, misunderstandings can arise regarding job changes or delays in payment for work done, leading to litigation over who owes what to whom.

Some of the most common disputes that can arise from nonpayment are:

  1. The contractor claims they completed all the agreed work, while the client argues that some or none of it was done.
  2. Unclear or disputed invoices.

  3. Contractors not being compensated for incurring additional costs.

  4. Work not being completed as agreed upon.

In conclusion, the most common causes of construction disputes can be anything from injuries on the job site to quality control issues. If construction property disputes arise, it is best to seek legal counsel as soon as possible from a commercial litigation lawyer to protect your business.




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