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Requesting Time Extensions: To Wait or Not to Wait?

July 11, 2011

Contractors struggle with the eternal question: “When is the right time to request a time extension from the owner?” Even when the owner is clearly responsible for critically delaying the project, they may be reluctant to submit a time extension request right away.

The window for submitting a time extension request can vary from during or directly after the owner critically delays the project to after the project is complete.  Contractors often put off submitting a time extension request.  The reasons may include believing they can’t develop a convincing and properly documented request or delaying the submission to “maintain a good working relationship” with the owner.

The Consequences

Not requesting a time extension in a timely manner may have unintended contractual, financial, and delay-mitigation consequences.  Potentially, these are:

  • Contractual: Most contracts contain notice requirements that are imbedded within specific contract provisions, like the time extension provision, that require the contractor to submit a request for additional contract time within a specific time frame. By not submitting within the required time frame, the contractor may waive its right to recover additional compensation related to that delay.  By waiting until the end of the project and choosing not to submit a time extension request in accordance with the contract, the contractor may inadvertently waive its right to recover extra contract time and delay damages.
  • Financial: If the contractor can demonstrate that the owner delayed the project and caused it to incur delay damages (extended field office overhead, unabsorbed home office

The Current Climate of Weather Delays

June 01, 2011

As children, a snow day was a dream come true. But for contractors, severe weather can be a nightmare. That’s because it’s hard to properly account for the risk of weather and still remain competitive, especially in the current economic climate.  The delays and costs can be severe, which is only compounded by liquidated damages if the contractor can’t prove entitlement to a time extension.

Each region of the country has a distinctly different climate that produces unique challenges for the local construction industry. While weather is unpredictable, knowing how to define and deal with weather-related issues will help contractors and owners avoid an avalanche of disputes.

The following article will cover typical requirements for establishing entitlement to a time extension due to weather, emphasizing the importance of understanding your contract’s weather-related time extension provisions.

Proving entitlement to a time extension for weather requires one to establish two things:  entitlement and impact.

Entitlement

Establishing entitlement to a time extension for weather involves convincing the owner that he or she has an obligation to increase the time provided in the contract to complete the project work.  It should come as no surprise that the contract is important to this discussion.  It is common for time to be “of the essence” in a construction contract.  It is also common for “contract time” or the contract completion date to be terms defined by the contract.  In addition, given the contract’s role in defining the sharing of risk, especially the considerable risk associated with weather, it is common for

Powerful Tools for Successful Project Management

May 23, 2011

Introduction

Whether you are an entrepreneur, leader in a large corporation, or fall somewhere in between, proper use of project management tools can help you successfully deliver large tasks or projects on time and within budget. Unlike other management trends, project management is founded on a proven record in the segments of the working world where it has long been used with success, like the construction industry.   With a little training and practice you can apply their proven methods to your work, too.

What is Project Management?

Project management is both a process and a set of tools and techniques concerned with defining the project’s goal, planning all the work to reach the goal, leading the project and support teams, monitoring progress, and seeing to it that the project is completed in a satisfactory way.  The key term in this definition is the word “project.”  A project is a specific product, event, or outcome; it is not an ongoing process.  For example, the operation of the HR department is not a project; it’s an ongoing process.  Implementation of a new health insurance program, however, is not ongoing.  It is a particular event or outcome – a project.  Many of the things we do every day are best viewed as projects; from the mundane – preparing dinner – to the complex – developing a new drug and getting it approved by the FDA.  The advantage of seeing an objective in this light is that it allows you to immediately recognize the need for the

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