In construction, delays happen. When you are building a structure with a large amount of people, many moving parts, and uncertain weather conditions, things might get pushed back a day or two. However, it’s when work gets pushed back beyond a few days that it becomes a problem. When critical pieces of a project are delayed, it can stall a project as a whole, costing thousands of dollars.
What is a Delay Claim?
One way contractors can protect themselves against costly delays is by filing a delay claim against the developer or site owner. A delay claim is a maneuver that asserts that a project has been delayed due to an activity or inactivity of a site owner or developer. It states that, because of the delay, a contractor is entitled to additional time to complete the project or compensation for money lost during the delay. A Florida construction lawyer can help you file and defend this type of claim.
Construction delays that lead to claims being filed include:
- Change orders
- Defective design plans
- Differing site conditions
- Restricted access to a site
- Awaiting permits and approvals
What Must Contractors Prove When Filing a Delay Claim?
Delay claims are complex because there are a number of factors that may determine why a project experienced a delay. It also must be proven who is responsible for the delay and if it was detrimental to the project. To that point, the determining factors of a delay’s impact and, to a certain degree, whether a delay claim can be made include:
- Did the delay impact the critical path of the project? – Certain delays can significantly alter a project schedule because they involve activities that impact other activities. For example, drywall cannot be installed until insulation is installed in a wall. A wall can’t be painted until the drywall has been done. So delays in installing insulation can hurt the drywall and painting processes and, thus, is a part of the critical path of a project.
- What caused the delay? – This is a tougher question and is at the heart of whether you will be able to defend your claim or not.
- Can the delay be quantified? – Can it be proven that the delay cost the contractor money? For example, did the contractor have to pay for workers while they waited to start a certain aspect of the project?
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.