Many construction contracts outline a way that you will be able to handle disputes with the contractor. One of the possibilities is arbitration
, which is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method. This is used instead of going to court to handle the matter. If this is included in your contract, you should understand what it means.
Contractors usually prefer this way to resolving issues because it is often less expensive and less time-consuming than going through a trial. You should remember that if you sign a contract including a clause for arbitration, you are agreeing to use that method if there is a dispute. One thing to find out is how the arbitrator or panel is chosen so that you know whether they are experienced in these matters.
When you go through arbitration, each side of the matter will present their side of the dispute to the arbitrator or panel of arbitrators. You will follow the specific rules of the person or panel. This varies greatly, so be sure you understand these from the start.
Once both sides have presented their points, a decision in the matter is reached. Whether you can appeal the decision or not depends on the type of arbitration. Learning about this from the start is important because it lets you know if the arbitration is the final event of the matter.
Even if your case isn’t going to go through a court trial, you should still take the time to plan your case for arbitration. Making sure that your views on matters are accurately represented is important because this is likely your only chance to have the situation rectified.