We spoke with Ken Covington from SJA Construction Services about when to seek expert advice in a construction dispute.
Warlows Legal: What kind of services does SJA Construction Services provide?
Ken: SJA Construction services Pty. Ltd. has four (4) separate divisions – providing services for Project Management, Planning and Programming, Construction Consulting and Quantity Surveying and Cost Planning. The divisions can operate independently of each other and each carries out front end (initial services) and back end (legal proceedings) consultancy work.
Warlows Legal: In what sort of matters would someone need expert construction advice?
Ken: Without wishing to over-service them generally they might need expert construction advice in all matters but especially before they are legally committed to a situation or contract. We find people launching into ‘do and charge’ building agreements and getting financially burnt even if the works are adequately carried out but it is even worse if the building works are faulty and it ends in disagreement.
Warlows Legal: What sort of documentation or information should people keep when building or renovating which will make things easier down the track if something does go wrong?
Ken: They really should keep all drawings and documentation that they can. We now find that when carrying out back end (legal proceedings) work, that through time and convenience now, so much communication is carried out during the construction phase by mobile phone and through emails and after completion of the work or if the builder is terminated, a lot of records are lost and no records are kept, with respect to questions, answers, decisions and proceedings/
Warlows Legal: If you could give one piece of advice to people who are building or renovating, what would it be?
Ken: Get expert advice before you start. Far too many people are getting caught by launching into building work with unsigned contracts and incomplete documentation that ends in disagreements down the track.
To find out more about SJA Construction Services, please visit their website.