Everything that happens in a construction project must have proper documentation or disputes can easily arise.

The first rule in drafting a construction contract is to keep the wording clear and concise to avoid any misinterpretations.

How disputes occur

Construction contracts must set forth the plans, specifications and scope of work. Even if the details of the project are well spelled out in the original contract, the customer may at some point request changes. However, some contractors may treat extra work or change orders with a degree of nonchalance that can lead to misunderstandings and disputes later on.

Subcontractor issues

Along with issues over change orders, problems can develop in the interpretation of the work required of various subcontractors. An electrician working on a remodel, for example, does not normally communicate with property owners directly but deals instead with the general contractor. The electrician may get caught up in a dispute between owner and contractor if the wording in a change order is ambiguous.

Clear, precise wording

A contractor should never begin work that is not yet documented. Disputes can arise about a number of problems from construction defects and job site conditions to subcontractor substitution. A contract should be written in such a way that neither the property owner nor the contractor can take advantage of one another. Using simple sentences and definitive words that make the meaning clear is the best way to write a construction contract. Furthermore, if there are any additional documents required, they should not contradict anything the parties have already agreed to in the original contract.