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Don’t Delay: Document, Document, Document & Document Some More

Authored by attorney Kevin A. Rust

If you are being delayed on a project, it is critically important that you document the delay, how much it is costing you, and who or what is causing the delays. 

Many construction contracts have provisions that require notice of any defect to be provided. If you fail to give such notice to the offending party, courts may throw your claim out, as the party causing the problem was never given an opportunity to fix it.

It is important to identify which entity or entities are causing the delay, and sending notification to them. If you aren’t sure the precise cause of the delay, it may be wise to notify all the companies on the job that you are being delayed, and are investigating who and what is causing it.

If you wait too long to send notifications to the responsible parties, you very well could end up eating those delay damages. As difficult as delay damages are to prove, there is no sense in making it even more difficult by failing to timely identify that you are being delayed.

(As a related point, be sure to include language in your contract requiring notice, not just for defects in work, but for any delays you are causing. Also consider a contractual provision that will limit your damage to the amount paid for the work, the limits of you insurance policy, and/or some pre-determined amount. Typically, the contract needs to provide that the higher amount will operate as the limit).  

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