By Nathan | Posted on
Why Construction Daily Reports Are Legally Important
As they say, it seems as though if you assume the worst, the worst never happens. Likewise, it seems that if you take the "don't worry, be happy" approach, trouble comes looking for you. It's not that magical thinking rules the business world. Rather, an abundance of preparation and explanation means that a construction superintendent has a more smoothly functioning site, and protection for those more bumpy periods.
Daily logs will never be one of a supervisor's favorite things to do, but this daily reporting is essential. In addition to serving as an effective way to deal with everything from safety issues to supply chains, daily reports for construction projects can help firms prevail in litigation cases, and better still, keep them from happening altogether. How so? Consider this real life California case.
"Mrs. X" was having major renovations done to her hillside dwelling. Preliminary investigation indicated that because of severe sloping and probable unstable soil, soldier piles would have to be installed. Only examination by a qualified inspector could confirm this situation for a certainty. But the probability of having to have this work done seemed so likely, that the homeowner agreed to add $100,000 to her construction budget for this hill stabilization.
When inspection time arrived, due to ground settling, the inspector determined that this extensive stabilization wouldn't be necessary after all. However, unforeseen engineering issues on other parts of the project had arisen, and to cover the cost of these necessary modifications, the firm used "the hill fund".
The client was unhappy with the finished product for various reasons, and the case ended up in court. Among the plaintiff's complaints was that the firm discovered that hill stabilization wouldn't be necessary, but kept the "hill fund", and overcharged her. Although the construction firm ultimately prevailed, this litigation resulted in a time consuming six week trial, and a firm loss of $75,000.
Had the firm in question kept proper daily reports for construction projects, everyone’s “day in court” could have been avoided altogether. Software programs like Raken for daily reporting doesn't just mean a faster, more efficient daily report for a firm's internal use. It also means a real-time report that can easily be shared with clients. One that allows for the inclusion of photos, graphics, and other reports, to help explain changes to projects, and show how money is being used. Such sharing helps make a client become a true project partner, and helps to avoid misunderstandings that can lead to construction litigation. In cases where litigation is unfortunately unavoidable, Raken's features can also be used to create court-appropriate construction documents that can help firms prevail in litigation. So while the "bells and whistles" of a construction software package may seem to some to be unneeded preparation, a savvy superintendent knows that this small expenditure can save firms considerably larger ones down the road.