The only time contractors get involved and talk with an attorney is when something goes wrong. Do you agree?
To prove that claim, we have Attorney Marc Gravely on the podcast today, whose work is on representing owners exclusively in construction disputes with general contractors, architects, and engineers.
Atty. Gravely is here to share with us the common construction defects in building that leads to litigations, how to avoid or reduce the risk, insurance and contracts, and everything in between.
Let’s get started!
Meet the Lawyer
When was the last time you talked to an attorney?
Apparently, contractors would instead get into a room full of snakes than talk with an attorney.
But attorneys play a huge role in maintaining quality and balance in construction.
And that’s what Attorney Marc Gravely is.
He started off representing architects and engineers exclusively in Texas and went on representing some very large general contractors with the firm.
Despite all of these, a thought came to him, and he realized there was a market for legal services to represent only owners.
And so we’re picking his brain today to get inside access to how contractors could avoid lawsuits over construction defects.
Common Mistakes that Lead to Litigations
Facing lawsuits is burdensome, and just the thought of it already drains your mind and energy.
And if you’re a contractor, you know a lot is at stake when you come face-to-face with one.
So, we asked Atty. Gravely of the most common construction defects in buildings that usually lead to litigations.
Here are the top two things that made to his list (based on his extensive experience).
1. It’s usually about incorrect HVAC installation issues that result in too much humidity in the air or the air isn’t balanced right in parts of the building.
2. Poor HVAC designs in building additions that result in increased moisture, which is a big no-no if it’s in a healthcare setting.
Avoiding Lawsuits and Reducing Risk
But you need not worry. Marc gave us some tips on how contractors could avoid lawsuits and reduce the risk of construction defects in buildings.
Here are just a few of them.
1. Have risk-shifting provisions in your contracts with your subcontractors.
2. Have plenty of insurance – an underlying and excess or umbrella policies.
3. Have confidence in the plans and specifications. Do a thorough look to see if a project is something that’s constructible.
4. Have a good superintendent with good management skills and an exemplary process for construction.
By following these top four tips, you’ll buy yourself peace of mind which doesn’t come naturally, especially for bigger projects.
But whether you have or haven’t dealt with one yet, it’s always good to avoid the problems before they get bigger and scarier. Don’t let it wait to go big!
What you can do is be honest with the owner if something isn’t good while you’re working on the project. If you’re not honest with them right in the beginning, they will be mad at you later on when they find out.
So, it all boils down to it’s not a matter of if you’re going to have to address this issue; it’s a matter of when are you going to handle it, and how big are you going to let it get. It’s your choice!
Check out the podcast episode above or watch the full episode HERE for more of this interview with Atty. Marc Gravely on avoiding lawsuits over construction defects and reducing risk.
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