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Commercial Disputes

Subcontractor Disputes in Construction Projects: Rights & Resolution Options

By August 7, 2023No Comments

Construction projects involve numerous parties working together to bring a vision to life. However, disagreements and disputes can arise, especially between general contractors and subcontractors. Understanding your rights as a subcontractor and knowing the available resolution options is crucial for navigating these conflicts effectively. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore common subcontractor disputes in construction projects, shed light on the rights afforded to subcontractors, and provide valuable insights into resolving conflicts. 

Common Subcontractor Disputes

Payment Issues & Delays

One of the most common disputes involves payment-related issues, such as late payments, underpayment, or non-payment for completed work. These disputes can significantly impact the subcontractor’s cash flow and disrupt the project’s progress.

Scope of Work & Change Orders

Disagreements can arise when there is a discrepancy between the agreed scope of work and the actual work required. Change orders, which involve modifications or additions to the original contract, can also be a source of contention if not properly documented and agreed upon.

Performance & Quality of Work

Conflicts may arise if there are concerns about the quality of work performed by the subcontractor or if there are disputes regarding the adherence to project specifications and standards.

Rights of Subcontractors

Lien Rights

Subcontractors in Florida have the right to file a construction lien against the property if they are not paid for their work. A construction lien serves as a legal claim on the property and can be a powerful tool for securing payment.

Contractual Rights & Protections

Subcontractors’ rights are typically outlined in their contractual agreements with the general contractor. It is essential to carefully review and understand the terms and conditions, including provisions related to payment, scope of work, change orders, and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Resolving Subcontractor Disputes

Open Communication & Documentation

Maintaining open lines of communication with the general contractor throughout the project can help prevent disputes or address issues promptly. Documenting all communications, agreements, and changes in writing is crucial for clarity and future reference.

Mediation & Arbitration

Alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, can provide a less adversarial and more cost-effective means of resolving disputes. These processes involve neutral third parties who help facilitate negotiations and reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

Legal Action & Litigation

In some cases, legal action may be necessary to protect your rights as a subcontractor. Engage with one of our experienced construction law attorneys to help you navigate the complexities of litigation and advocate for your interests in court, if needed.


Subcontractor disputes in construction projects can be challenging, but understanding your rights and having a clear resolution strategy in place can make a significant difference. Proactive communication, diligent documentation, and seeking legal guidance when necessary are essential steps in successfully navigating subcontractor disputes. 

For more expert guidance and assistance on construction law, contact one of our experienced construction law attorneys at 305-570-2208. You can also email our lead attorney Eduardo directly at

We at Ayala Law PA are passionate about helping those in legal need, so please don’t hesitate to schedule a case evaluation with us online here.

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