Changing Builders During a Construction Project – Things to Keep in Mind
Having to change builders during a construction project is unfortunate. It can impact the project in various negative ways, and it’s important to be prepared for an event like this to avoid incurring large losses.
It’s not the end of the world though. In most cases, there’s a lot you can do to minimize the additional friction resulting from the sudden change, and to ensure that the project continues with minimal interruption.
Sort out pending materials and supplies
One of the most important factors to consider in this case is the current state of material and supply procurement. It’s very likely that your contractors will still have orders pending for things they were planning to use in the coming days or weeks.
Make sure to sort this out with both the contractor and the suppliers they’re working with. Check your contract to verify that you won’t be on the hook for any unpaid bills. Usually this won’t be the case, but you have to be careful with certain more uniquely structured construction projects.
If possible, take over the procurement of those materials so they will be immediately available for your next contractors. But keep in mind that some contractors have preferred suppliers they like to work with, so you’ll need to verify the situation with your new builders as well.
Have a new contractor lined up as early as possible
You should not delay seeking out a new contractor at all. The sooner the project resumes, the less hurdles there will be to overcome. This is especially true if some parts of the construction were left half-finished. It’s possible that finishing work needs to be completed immediately to avoid damaging those elements.
Ideally, you should start searching as soon as your current contractor announces that they’re unable to continue working. Don’t wait until they’re actually off the project.
This will also give you a chance to facilitate some information exchange between the two groups. As long as you’re still on good terms with the previous contractors and you trust them, of course. Set up a meeting in which the two companies can discuss the current state of the project and their plans for how the next steps should be tackled.
Taking action against the old contractors in case of breach of contract
In case you’re not ending your partnership with the current contractor on good terms, you might also have to take legal action against them. This can add an extra layer of complication to a situation that’s already messy and far from straightforward.
Don’t fall for the trap of believing that you can avoid doing this. Otherwise, you might find yourself out of pocket for certain expenses that should have been covered by the previous contractor. To be sure about where you stand, get a consultation with an attorney experienced in construction matters and see what their opinion on the situation is.