When two or more entities sign a contract, each is obligated to fully adhere to its terms, no matter how complex such terms might be. This is why it is critically important to seek clarification to understand the terms of a construction contract before signing it, including any and all responsibilities and obligations that become enforceable by signing. There is a specific issue that is often the central focus of construction litigation in California and throughout the country.
A basic project scope typically includes a brief written statement that summarizes the project contemplated by the contract. Specific criteria for successful project completion are listed in a scope statement. A project schedule and a timeline are also included, as well as how any changes in scope of work should be handled.
A 2020 insight report lists disagreements due to scope changes as the number one litigation issue in construction law cases. After a review of nearly 2,000 cases, the report concluded that requests for time extensions typically added more than 320 days (on average) per project.
Additional issues that are often listed in construction law litigation cases
To avoid disputes over scope changes, anyone signing a construction contract will want to thoroughly discuss the issue ahead of time, as well as execute detailed terms of agreement that leave little room for confusion or dispute. Besides scope changes, other issues that often lead to litigation include incorrect or incomplete design issues, substandard craftsmanship and unforeseen physical condition issues. Deficient workmanship issues top the list in California; hence, any person who is currently concerned about a specific construction contract problem may wish to schedule a consultation with an experienced construction law attorney before heading to court.