Pool construction is a major home remodeling endeavor, and with all major projects, there’s a heightened risk of legal disputes. Even the most stringent construction contracts can be challenged by a construction attorney or general consultant. If you’re overseeing a pool construction project as a contractor or property owner, you should know the three common causes of disputes that could lead to construction liens, accusations of contract breaching, and more.
1. The project requires additional work
Pool contractors thoroughly inspect all job sites before they draft a project plan and contract. All aspects of the site are considered, from the geographic location and components, to the ground slope and best places to install a drainage system. However, it’s impossible to catch every possible detail, as some won’t be visible until construction begins.
With any construction project, new developments are expected. Contractors are prepared for the most probable developments, but sometimes they come across one that requires far more work than expected. The timeline might get stretched out beyond the contract details and the project cost might increase substantially. Though the contract should cover how such events are approached, property owners might take issue and escalate the issue to the point a construction attorney is needed.
2. The completed project requires touch ups or repairs
Pool construction is intensive and has many moving parts. A mishap with one part or step of construction could cause ripples impacting later steps of the project, ultimately resulting in a pool that needs immediate repairs. Property owners might raise issues with superficial defects on tilework and grouting, or serious defects that undermine the pool’s wall or structure and could collapse. They might also blame contractors for a newly installed ladder that disconnects from the pool wall.
Standard construction contracts have indemnity clauses that lay out how responsibility is split among contractors, subcontractors, and property owners when construction is impacted by negligence. This helps determine how medical and legal costs are allocated should the pool defects result in injury. This also is a common cause for disputes because property managers and contractors alike could disagree about how indemnity is applied in practice.
3. The contractors and property owners disagree about final payment
Extended timelines or additional project work could change when payment is due and how it’s collected. Contractors might expect larger payments according to the original payment schedule while property owners might want more leeway in payment—or additional services to cover the increased cost if they feel the additional services don’t warrant extra payment. These situations are tricky to sort out and need the help of the right attorney versed in construction litigation. Working out disputes on your own can worsen an already complicated matter.