Types Of Construction Delays And How They Impact Contractor Liability In Florida
In an ideal world, every public and private construction project would be completed on time and within budget. Companies in the Florida construction industry know that this perfect scenario is rare, but you might be surprised to learn about the extensive consequences of delays: A Global Construction Disputes Report 2020 reveals that the average cost of a construction delay is $18.8 million. Plus, the average dispute takes almost 18 months to resolve. Whether due to change orders, financial instability, Florida weather, or incompetence, the implications of suspending construction are staggering.
With these figures in mind, you no doubt want to uncover the reasons behind these conflicts, starting by understanding the different types of delays that impact construction projects. You can rely on a South Florida construction delay claims attorney for details, but an overview may be helpful.
Excusable and Non-Excusable Schedule Delays: As the term indicates, unforeseen circumstances not within the contractor’s and/or owner’s control may lead to interruptions. Examples of excusable delays include labor strikes, hurricanes and weather, lack of action by government agencies, hidden site conditions, and many others. These matters are usually not actionable, and a disclaimer of liability is often spelled out in a construction contract.
The bigger issue with delays is those that are non-excusable, and which could lead to both financial losses and pushing out the construction schedule. The contractor and/or owner may be liable for activity delays resulting from:
- Postponements by subcontractors and suppliers;
- Defective workmanship that must be corrected; and
- Project-specific labor strikes caused by owner/contractor misconduct.
Critical Delays: Interruptions in construction are critical when it impacts the final delivery date; non-critical delays may simply require affected parties to catch up, unless they also involve substantial losses.
Compensable Delays: Regardless of excuse or critical status, a construction delay will get the attention of all involved parties when funds must be exchanged to recoup for associated losses. An owner/contractor may be held accountable for an extension to the schedule, monetary damages, or both.
Concurrent Delays: The dynamic nature of a construction project means that postponements can run concurrently. When there are multiple parties involved in this manner, it can be challenging to determine the extent to which they each contributed to the delay. Conduct by the owner, GC, subcontractors, suppliers, and other relevant parties could cause the holdup, but also be affected by another’s interruptions. As you can imagine, the worst-case scenario is a delay that is non-excusable, critical, concurrent, AND compensable.
Contact a Palm Beach County, FL Construction Delay Claims Lawyer Today
Any holdups in the construction schedule can impact the project, but some delays have a tendency to snowball into costly, time-consuming disputes. Regardless of how your company is involved in a construction delay, our Florida delay claims lawyers at Linkhorst & Hockin, P.A. can assist with conflicts. For more information on our legal services in the area of construction law, please contact our office right away. We can schedule a consultation to review your circumstances and advise you on your options.