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New York Construction Law Blog

Mitigating issues by addressing a risk of delays in a construction contract

Posted by Karl Silverberg | Mar 26, 2024 | 0 Comments

Addressing the risk of delays into a construction contract is a strategic approach to mitigate potential issues and better ensure project success.

Delays in construction can arise from various factors such as adverse weather conditions, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages or unexpected site conditions. By acknowledging and planning for these delays in advance, both parties can reduce conflict, improve communication and maintain a positive working relationship throughout the project.

Below are a few of the ways that you can work with your legal team to effectively incorporate a risk of delays into a construction contract.

Clear definitions and conditions

Start by clearly defining what constitutes a delay within the context of the contract. Specify the types of delays (e.g., excusable, non-excusable, compensable and non-compensable) and the conditions under which each type is likely to occur. This clarity helps in setting expectations and provides a basis for addressing delays if they happen.

Notification requirements

Establish a formal procedure for notifying all parties of a delay. This should include the timeline for notification once a delay is identified and the format in which this notification should be made (e.g., written notice). Prompt notification ensures that all parties are aware of the delay and can take appropriate action as soon as possible.

Mitigation and adjustment mechanisms

Include mechanisms within the contract for mitigating delays and adjusting project timeline and costs accordingly. This might involve strategies for accelerating other parts of the project, reallocating resources or extending the project's completion date. The goal is to provide flexibility and tools for managing delays constructively.

Dispute resolution process

Include a dispute resolution process specifically designed to address disagreements related to delays. This process should probably aim for resolution through negotiation, mediation or arbitration before resorting to litigation, promoting a more collaborative and less adversarial approach to resolving delay-related issues.

By thoughtfully incorporating these elements into a construction contract, parties can effectively mitigate the impact of delays, maintaining project momentum and the risk of significant disputes.

About the Author

Karl Silverberg

Karl Silverberg Contact Me: (631) 778-6077 Email me Practice Areas: Construction Law Biography Prior to law school, Mr. Silverberg worked as a professional engineer, and has eight years of experience working as a structural engineer on public sector transportation projects. Mr. Silver...


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