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New York Construction Law Blog

Constant client changes could lead to construction issues

Posted by Karl Silverberg | Apr 17, 2024 | 0 Comments

One of the biggest issues that general contractors and construction companies face is that clients change their minds. For instance, maybe you run a business building new homes. A client may originally agree on the plans but constantly come back with different changes to the design of the home or the stylistic choices that they've made. They repeatedly change their focus and their expectations for the project. 

It is important for contractors to understand that this is part of the job. Changes are going to happen. Some of them may happen at the last minute. These alterations can change the scope of the project and may even impact the cost.

But it's very important to focus on communication while working through these issues. Without streamlined communication between clients and contractors, there could be allegations of construction defects.

Why would this happen?

Remember that all construction defect claims do not mean that there are serious structural issues, non-functional in-home systems – such as an HVAC system that doesn't work – or things of this nature. The home may be technically functional, but the client may still be dissatisfied if it doesn't match up with their aesthetic vision for that space.

But this is why last-minute changes can be a problem. Say that the client designed a home with granite countertops. At the last minute, they decided they wanted a butcher block. But there was a miscommunication issue, and granite countertops were purchased and installed. The client wants them to be switched out – which would be very expensive – and claims that the contractor is the one who made the mistake of installing the wrong countertops.

These types of issues can be frustrating, and they can also have severe financial ramifications. Contractors in this position must understand all of their legal options.

About the Author

Karl Silverberg

Karl Silverberg Contact Me: (631) 778-6077 Email me Practice Areas: Construction Law Biography Prior to law school, Mr. Silverberg worked as a professional engineer, and has eight years of experience working as a structural engineer on public sector transportation projects. Mr. Silver...


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