Disputes with Your Builder
Disputes with builders are notoriously difficult to resolve which is why the best course is almost always some form of construction mediation process. The difficulty construction mediation overcomes is that disputes often arise which can’t be resolved by evidence. Much in a small scale building contract revolves around what was said. What construction mediation can resolve however is what a job should have cost. But construction mediation can sometimes revolve some of the other issues surrounding the quality of the work, whether it has been completed to specification or whether unnecessary work has been completed and charged for.
The builder of course might be trying it on but that’s not always the case. Many customers don’t realise the difference between ‘estimates’ and ‘quotes’. Estimates’ are just that, they are a professional opinion on how much the job will cost. If the costs significantly overrun construction mediation is the answer. During the course most works something unexpected crops up. Either the specifications change or some aspect of the work not estimated for makes it more expensive. It might even be the case that the estimate was wrong. Then when the work is finished it turns out more expensive than expected. But that doesn’t mean its an attempted rip off. The question for construction mediation to resolve is, is the work worth the extra the builder is trying to charge or is it excessively priced. Or perhaps has something been done which is completely unnecessary to the project.
Construction Mediation in Smaller Projects
Don’t be put off by our references to ‘construction’. People often tend to think of construction mediation as a term, relating to big projects. But these projects are often the ones which don’t require any form of construction mediation. The participants are all professional and there’s not much an outside opinion can contribute, although sometimes a level headed third party experienced in construction mediation can knock heads together. Construction mediation is well suited to small scale domestic building disputes such as whether the roof has been fixed to specification and at an acceptable price. Construction mediation can determine whether your wall has been built at reasonable cost
Construction mediation is a much better first step than going to court. Court proceedings involving disputed issues of fact can be appallingly expensive. So unless you know how to bring a small claim and represent yourself the costs are prohibitive. Even then if you lose you may end up having to pay the other side’s inflated legal costs. Construction mediation is a much cheaper option. If the other side is wealthy the chances are that you will be swamped in the procedure and costs before the claim ever gets before a judge and by the time it does the facts and evidence will be so complicated that even a sympathetic judge will have difficulty finding in your favour.
Court proceedings are based on evidence and even if the judge wants to find for you he will still have to have some evidence to support his findings otherwise it can be appealed by the other side. Construction mediation however might easily help you resolve the issues without court proceedings and even if it does not you will have a good factual report to use as evidence in your favour. Even of you win in court construction mediation with both sides cooperating is still a better alternative. Apart from the cost saving construction mediation can leave business and personal relationships intact and you may still be willing to use the same builder again particularly if all concerned regard the construction mediation process as a way of resolving a genuine dispute amicably. The courts actually promote mediation and in some claims can order that both sides mediate before the proceedings continue. So if the other side won’t cooperate it is worth asking the court to order construction mediation, If they still don’t cooperate the other side are still entitled to continue in court but they will be disadvantaged by their attitude, so even if you lose they might receive a less sympathetic ear when costs come to be ordered
Construction Mediation is Informal
Construction mediation is not a judicial process. It simply involves an experienced and impartial outsider giving his own opinion. But that opinion carries a great deal of weight particularly if you have no experience of your own to rely on. The outcome of construction mediation may be the only real evidence you can rely on if the other side is unwilling to settle. Of course construction mediation may result in a finding that you are wrong but at least you will be much happier that an impartial third party has given an opinion. That often is all that aggrieved customers really want and are happy that they have had their say through an informal construction mediation process. It will be a lot cheaper than going to court and you will still have that option if you really want to carry on with legal proceedings. Construction mediation at best is negotiation carried through with the assistance of a knowledgeable third party. Construction mediation or any other mediation does not impose any settlement on either side but it is possible for both sides to agree in advance that the outcome of construction mediation is binding in law. Almost whatever the outcome some form of construction mediation is beneficial provided that both parties accept that the construction mediation process is performed by an acceptable third party, No one can really lose by allowing construction mediation to play a part but all parties have the chance to benefit from construction mediation
KCS Construction Mediation
The value of construction mediation from KCS Advice is that it can be as informal and formal as you wish and because of that fact construction mediation from us can range in cost from free to modest. It will never be remotely as expensive as litigation. And if litigation is in the offing construction mediation from us can save the cost of the whole process. The promoters of the KCS Advice website have long experience in construction mediation and no less than 38 years experience in the building and associated trades, experience involving large construction projects contracts with local authorities, right down to small home repairs.
We don’t charge anything for the first stage of construction mediation. Construction mediation at the beginning is just a consultation either by email or on the phone. This stage of the construction mediation process may simply involve pointing you in the right direction. How things progress from there depends on both the parties. If we negotiate on your behalf there are charges for site visits examining documents etc. If you and the other side want us to arrive at a formal construction mediation conclusion the form of a recommended settlement the hourly charges will depend on the time we spend and the work we do. We will always tell you in advance what our construction mediation services will cost. Compare this with the services of a solicitor some of whom charge £200 an hour for what amounts to clerical work that you can easily do yourself. In many instances employing a solicitor is more consuming of your own time than doing the work yourself.
If you have a dispute and need advice please contact us.