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What options do contractors have to resolve a dispute?

Working as a contractor is a difficult, time-intensive job. Not only do you have to focus on completing a project in the time you bid, but you need to make sure the customer is on the same page.

When there’s a miscommunication between a contractor and their client, it can get ugly. Disputes can slow down projects and damage a contractor’s reputation.

When a dispute arises, there are a few options you can take to reach a solution:

Negotiation

When a customer is upset over a detail on the job, the first thing you can try is to negotiate.

The right negotiations can turn an issue into an asset. If you are willing to work with the customer and find a solution that works for both of you, they may appreciate it more.

Depending on the issue and the customer, skillful negotiations can help both parties quickly move on with the project.

Mediation

Mediating a dispute is low risk, as either party can leave at any time. An impartial mediator can help you work together to resolve any disputes. The end agreement should be fair to both parties.

A mediator may offer new solutions to the issue.

Going through mediation shows a willingness to address the issue and fix it. It can help you solve the issue in a professional manner.

However, the process can take some time, and the client must be willing to work on the issue.

Arbitration

More formal than mediation, arbitration is an opportunity to have an impartial third party solve the dispute. Arbitration is an option if the customer won’t work with you towards a solution.

Keep in mind that judgements made in arbitration are binding, and appeals are rarely granted.

Litigation

If the customer is unwilling to address a dispute, you may need to go to court. Litigation can be a slow process, but it can also ensure that both sides hold to a signed contract.

Litigation may seem complicated, but sometimes it's the only way to get disputes settled correctly.

Disputes with customers can be frustrating. They slow down projects, and take up time better spent working. These are a few of the options available to you if a dispute arises.

An attorney with expertise in construction law can help you determine the best option for resolving a dispute.

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