Answers To FAQs About Acceleration In Florida Construction Contracts
Knowing that time is of the essence, parties to a Florida construction contract include specifics regarding the key milestones, deadlines, completion dates, and other details involved with the project. However, statistics on overages and delays in construction projects reveal that just under one-third come within 10 percent of their established budget because of delays. Most will take up to 20 percent longer than set by the construction schedule, and 98 percent of so-called “mega” construction projects will experience delays during the process.
It seems logical that the best way to get back on track is to simply pick up the pace, but speeding things up can bring a whole new set of challenges. Acceleration in construction can also lead to disputes and claims for losses, so rely on a Florida construction contracts lawyer to protect your interests. Some answers to FAQs about acceleration may also be helpful.
What does it mean to accelerate construction? The underlying concept is straightforward: Under certain circumstances, the work to be performed must be done at a faster pace than anticipated by the construction contract. Acceleration may be necessary once delays have already impeded the project, but it often is related to:
- Expansion of the scope of work;
- Change orders by the developer or owner;
- Natural disasters or weather conditions; or,
- The completion date being moved up.
How do acceleration claims work? When one party to a construction project speeds up the pace, there is a ripple effect for all others. Acceleration might require a contractor to pay for overtime, provide additional labor, re-prioritize construction tasks, and/or secure equipment to meet the new deadlines. Obviously, these efforts and investments come at a cost; overtime alone is around 1.5 to 2 times the base rate for laborers. Parties suffer losses because another wants to complete the job early, so they may have standing to bring an acceleration claim.
What are the different types of acceleration claims? Most Florida contractors will encounter two primary types of acceleration:
- Directed acceleration, where the owner provides the instructions to speed up; and,
- Constructive acceleration, in which a contractor requests additional time to complete.
Both scenarios typically arise out of an excusable delay, one which is not predictable at the time that the contract was signed and is not within the parties’ control.
Can I recover damages for acceleration? Some construction contracts spell out the specifics of what happens in the event of delays, often providing for liquidated damages to cover the losses of an aggrieved party. Contractors may encounter a “No Damages for Delay Clause,” which may limit liability in some situations.
Discuss Acceleration Issues with Our South Florida Construction Contracts Attorneys
These answers to questions about acceleration in construction projects are useful, but you will need custom-tailored advice when dealing with an actual dispute or claim. For more information, please contact Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. to set up a consultation with a member of our team. Our lawyers have extensive experience representing contractors and other parties to Florida construction contracts, so we can explain the relevant legal concepts.