A Deep Dive Into Construction Dispute Resolution Strategies

Construction projects are intricate undertakings requiring legally binding documents and strict timetables; therefore, disputes will inevitably arise and must be addressed immediately. A lot of these financial disputes involving contract value can be avoided by simply having an accurate estimate which can be provided for every project you do using construction takeoff services.

Thank goodness there are various strategies available to us when dealing with difficult circumstances. Discovering all your options and their preparation requirements in this session, will enable you to select the most effective strategy for your situation.


Construction contracts often contain clauses mandating informal attempts at resolution before resorting to arbitration or court. Due to its speed and cost-efficiency, mediation can be an excellent way to resolve construction disputes quickly.

Mediation can often be less costly and time consuming than litigation, enabling parties to communicate in private without risking public disclosure of sensitive data. This process helps keep projects moving ahead while also helping prevent disruptions to businesses.

Mediation involves learning about each party’s position and providing advice about its overall merits, with an aim of helping manage expectations about what a settlement outcome might look like if litigation or arbitration were pursued.

Attorneys typically prepare their clients for mediation by reviewing the issues and arguments they will present at mediation. Although not as extensive as trial or arbitration hearing preparation, this should ensure they can fully engage in discussion at this meeting.


Standard construction contracts often contain clauses mandating that disputes be arbitrated rather than litigated in court; however, litigation remains an option when conflicts arise.

Arbitration provides parties with one key advantage – they can choose an arbitrator with experience in their project or industry that can move matters along faster than a judge or jury would.

Arbitration proceedings typically include looser evidence rules than usual, making it easier to admit evidence into evidence. Discovery, an expensive and time-consuming procedure which typically includes interrogatories, depositions and requests to produce documents may be reduced or avoided altogether.

Arbitrators can also require experts on specific issues to meet with them on a “without prejudice” basis before the hearing and prepare statements of what they will say during testimony. This helps clarify contested evidence earlier and speed up hearing processes; finally, not having an appeals process reduces time needed for case resolution.


Prior to proceeding with legal action, disputes can often be more efficiently managed through mediation. Conciliation provides both parties involved with an opportunity to meet with a third-party neutral and discuss ways in which they may settle their differences. This helps avoid potential misunderstandings caused by misinformation or assumptions and increases chances of resolution.

Many construction projects include a dispute resolution clause in their contract that requires mediation or another form of ADR before resorting to litigation. By making use of non-legal dispute resolution methods, project owners and general contractors can save both time and money over time by avoiding lengthy court proceedings that can often last years or more.

Litigation is the traditional approach to dispute resolution, involving a court trial presided over by a judge and conducted by attorneys. While litigation can be costly and time-consuming, it may be the only way for one side to prove they have a right to claim money or equipment on time for use on site.


Construction disputes frequently result from miscommunication and overblown egos, inadequately written contract terms or differing site conditions, but jumping straight to litigation can damage relationships and be both time and cost prohibitive; for this reason most contracts contain Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) clauses mandating methods of dispute resolution before resorting to legal action.

Mediation is an increasingly popular alternative dispute resolution method. Although not legally binding, mediation provides another perspective while taking less time than arbitration or litigation.

An additional dispute resolution strategy is creating a dispute review board (DRB), which should meet periodically on-site to monitor progress and resolve conflicts as the project moves along. Although it may seem unnecessary at first, promptly addressing issues can help avoid more serious conflicts later in the project’s timeline.

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