Clarity on subcontractors can help prevent construction disputes

A construction project can be a big job that requires many specialized or skilled workers. If it is a new project or a significant remodel, it may involve plumbing, electrical, and other necessary components to make the structure habitable or usable for work. These types of projects that need the ideas and work of different construction professionals are common throughout Colorado.

A contractor may be hired to manage such a project, who then may bring on subcontractors to do the specialized work. Subcontractors have specific duties and responsibilities, but sometimes the scope of their work can be muddied in the process of contracting and executing project tasks. This post will discuss how clarity can help avoid subcontractor disputes and avoid costly construction litigation.

Defining the scope of a subcontractor’s work

As stated, a contractor may manage a building project and hire subcontractors to do particular tasks within a bigger project. However, a subcontractor generally will not perform work tasks that extend beyond the scope of work that they were hired to complete. When the scope of work for a subcontractor is loosely defined, they may have a different interpretation of what they are responsible for doing than their contractor. Clear and detailed terms regarding what a subcontractor is hired to complete within a project can help everyone involved with the project understand their duties.

Accepting subcontractor substitutions on a started project

After accepting work on a construction project, a subcontractor may become unavailable to fulfill their project duties. When this happens, the whole construction project may come to a halt because it cannot move forward without the work of the subcontractor being completed. A contractor may seek to substitute the subcontractor with another; this can be a problem if the owner of the project does not agree to such a substitution. To avoid this problem, owners and contractors can seek clarity on the appropriateness of subcontractor substitutions before they are necessary to avoid delays and expenses.

Subcontractors are vital to construction work. Their roles, however, can become problematic if they are not fully defined. This informational post does not provide legal advice, but readers with construction law questions are invited to contact trusted construction law attorneys in their communities.