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3 resolution methods for construction disputes

There are three primary ways that you can resolve a construction dispute – mediation, arbitration or court. You have to determine which you want to use from the start of the project because the method is usually stipulated in the contract. Understanding a bit about each of these might be beneficial.

Mediation means that both parties work with a mediator to come to the resolution. This is done through negotiations, so both sides have a say in what is going to happen. The key to this method is that everyone has to agree that they will compromise, and each person needs to keep an open mind.

Arbitration puts the resolution in the hands of either a single arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators. Each side presents their case, and then a decision is made. Some arbitration is binding, meaning the outcome is final. Other cases undergo nonbinding arbitration, which means that the decision is a suggestion for the resolution.

Going to court means that you will have a trial before a judge to determine what is going to happen. This is often the last resort for people who have construction disputes because it is the costliest option, and it often takes a lot longer than the others.

If the contract states which option will be used for disputes, you will follow that choice. If it doesn't, you have a say in this. Make sure that you think about the entire situation before you decide how to proceed with your claim. Most people who are going through this just want their project completed as stipulated in the original contract. Some might need repayment for damages, so this is also a factor.

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