Part I of this series discussed the benefits of construction participants using alternative project delivery methods and properly addressing change order issues, rising costs and payment structure issues to manage construction during these uncertain times. Part II below explores the possibility that higher prices and steady consumer demand could lead to an increase in unscrupulous contractor practices—and how owners can mitigate that risk, managing the challenges posed by the unforeseen labor shortage and turnover in the industry and evolving your construction team for short-term and long-term success.
Higher Prices and Steady Demand
With the demand for construction projects relatively stable, contractors remaining in high demand and a surge in prices for construction materials and components, owners are under great pressure to accept less favorable construction terms. This has presented unscrupulous contractors with perceived leverage over owners and new opportunities to engage in questionable business practices and fraud. Although some contractors may seek to stretch the boundaries of a construction contract, other contractors are more deliberate. Falsifying payment applications and invoices to inflate labor or materials costs, billing for work not yet performed or materials not yet delivered to the project site and manipulating change orders are examples of illicit and fraudulent practices by contractors.
Reprinted courtesy of Jeffrey S. Wertman, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.