The basics of scope of work disputes

On Behalf of Dunlap Fiore, LLC |

Rarely is every job on the worksite done by the general contractor. Many elements of these projects like plumbing and electrical are, in fact, handled by subcontractors. With so many different groups working on one site, it is a simple reality that there may be conflicts during and after the construction process. One of those, and arguably the most common, is a scope of work dispute.

These types of disputes can arise when the expectations of a job to be performed differ in the eyes of the general contractor and a sub-contractor. Take this scenario for example. An electrical contractor bids on and is awarded a job based on reviews of planning and scope of project documents provided by and reviewed with the general contractor.

Upon completion of the job, the electrical contractor is advised that the owner interpreted the documents differently than he did, and is not satisfied with the work. Therefore, in the eyes of the owner, the work was not performed as implied and the contractor has not performed the duties as agreed.

Disputes such as these often lead to litigation or arbitration. In large construction jobs, this can mean millions of dollars in limbo while the dispute is worked out, thereby slowing or even halting further progress on a project.

A scope of work dispute is a complex matter that can be settled by a construction attorney more quickly than if a contractor attempts to navigate on his own. Attorneys can communicate directly to settle outside of court, thereby eliminating valuable time that would have been lost if the case was forced to go to trial.