The Most Common Types of Construction Disputes and How Pixly Photo Can Help Avoid Them

December 13, 2023

In the fast-paced and complex construction world, disputes are unfortunately quite common. Statistics show that 30% of projects have some form of a dispute, and the global average dispute is $50,000,000. Among the regions surveyed in a recent study, the buildings—education, healthcare, retail/commercial, civil, and government— sector saw the most disputes. The highest value dispute reported was US$2 billion.

These disputes can arise between various parties, including owners, contractors, subcontractors, architects, and engineers, and can be costly and time-consuming to resolve. It can be a simple dispute with a homeowner and contractor about the paint color on a kitchen backwash remodel to water damage up to 10 years after a project is completed. Construction professionals simply can not afford to ignore all the risks and need proper visual documentation to protect them and reduce risk of disputes and litigation.

Here are some of the most common types of construction disputes:

  • Scope of work disputes: These disputes occur when there is disagreement about the scope of work in the construction contract. This can lead to disagreements about the quality of work, the amount of work completed, and the amount owed to the contractor.
  • Change order disputes: Change orders are issued to modify the original scope of work. Disputes can arise about the validity of a change order, the price of the change order, and whether the change order was authorized correctly.
  • Delay disputes: These disputes occur when a project is completed late. Disputes can arise about the cause of the delay and who is responsible for the delay.
  • Defect disputes: These disputes occur when a party claims that the work is defective. Disputes can arise about the nature of the defect, whether the defect was caused by the contractor, and who is responsible for repairing the defect.
  • Payment disputes occur when a party refuses to pay an invoice. Disputes can arise about whether the work was completed, whether the work was completed to the required standard and whether the amount of the invoice is accurate.

How can Pixly project photo and video documentation help avoid construction disputes?

The Pixly platform is a valuable tool for quickly preventing and resolving construction disputes. A visual record of the project from pre-existing conditions, construction progress, milestones, and completion that are time, date, and location stamped provides stakeholders with undeniable evidence to support or defend their claim.  

  • Clarify the scope of work: Project photos and videos can be used to document the work completed and the project conditions at the time the work was completed. This helps avoid disputes about what was included in the contract and whether the work was completed to the required standard.
  • Document project changes: Project photos and videos can be used to document changes to the work that were made during the course of the project. This can help avoid disputes about whether the changes were authorized, whether the price was agreed upon, and when the project was done.
  • Track project progress: Photos and videos can be used to track the daily progress of the project. This helps identify potential problems before they can become disputes and avoid delays.
  • Resolve disputes: If a dispute arises, photos and videos can provide evidence of what was done and when. This can help resolve the dispute quickly and fairly. Everything is time, date, and location stamped plus pinned to maps. 

Here are some tips for using photo and video documentation to avoid construction disputes:

  • Document pre-existing conditions with photos before any excavation or building even starts. 
  • Take photos and videos regularly: Take photos and videos of the work performed every day as it progresses, including close-ups of important details.
  • Date and time stamp your photos and videos: This will help to establish when the photos and videos were taken.
  • Use tags to add annotations, markups, assign and track tasks
  • Store your photos and videos securely in a secure, encrypted cloud instead of on user devices
  • Collaborate with your teams and crews. Share your project photos and videos instantly and automatically with all parties involved. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no misunderstandings.

By following these tips, you can use Pixly’s photo and video documentation platform to help avoid construction disputes and save yourself time and money, headaches and heartburn. 

In addition to the tips above, here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:

Pixly is a powerful tool that can be used to prevent and resolve construction disputes with instant automatic sharing of project photos and videos with teams powered by tags, annotations, markups, punch list tasks and dashboards. By taking the time to document your construction project correctly, you can save yourself time, money, pain and frustration in the long run.