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How are most construction disputes handled?

Construction projects are stressful enough. They become even more challenging when something goes wrong. Perhaps the builder has substituted poor-quality materials to save a buck. Or maybe the workmanship is subpar.

Whatever the issue, these disputes can quickly become costly, which makes it all the more important to handle them wisely.

Construction disputes are best resolved outside of court whenever possible. Methods of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or arbitration provide opportunities to reach a favorable resolution without the expense and delay of trial. In certain cases (such as construction defect claims), the law prescribes a detailed process for attempting to resolve claims before going to court.

The first step is notifying the responsible parties. The notice should comply with applicable law and include sufficient detail about the alleged problem or defect.

A construction defect is anything that is a deficiency as a result of the building or structure's design, planning, surveying, specifications, construction, remodeling or alterations. The defects could be caused by failing to meet professional standards, using defective materials, violating local or state codes or failing to uphold appropriate trade standards, among other shortcomings.

If negotiations fail to produce an acceptable resolution, you may need to pursue your claim in court or arbitration. Both of these venues require thorough preparation and a strategic approach to present a strong case that's well-supported with documentation and other evidence.

In any type of construction dispute, it's critical to work with an experienced attorney who understands Florida law as well as the local construction industry.

Source: Online Sunshine, "The 2017 Florida Statutes," accessed March 01, 2018

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