24, May, 2019

Avoiding Construction Delay Claims

Written by: Lyle Charles

It’s no secret that the construction industry costs money before you can make money, but there should be a limit to the amount of needless spending that a project accumulates. Every time a project planner puts together a change for the plans, or if supplies fail to arrive on time, the owner of the project will end up paying more than what they have anticipated. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to manage construction claim preparation efficiently or avoid them altogether.

Proper Documentation

One of the common problems crews run into is documentation. For inexperienced crews, documentation can often take a back seat to getting actual work done. Construction consultants have to be excellent record keepers because those documents will come back during a dispute. Documents outline everything, from the project plan to contracts for specific materials. Failure to track your documents is a liability, and will end up costing you in the long run. It may not be this project, but sooner or later you’re going to need to show proof that you have done something or ordered something. Documentation is crucial.

Scheduling in Advance

Another common problem on construction sites is the issue of getting schedules done well enough in advance to predict what might change on the ground. If you work in an area with four seasons, for instance, you might need to plan for days where you’ll be snowed in. There are also excessive overtime requests that could result in “over manpower.” It’s not easy to judge how much manpower you’ll need throughout the project, and you can’t predict which deadlines will present the most stress.

A good project manager needs to balance the deadline for a project, and structure operations so that nothing overlaps or lags. Every day that construction can’t happen is a day that everyone loses money. You should also consider scheduling inspectors, especially for permit issuing, well in advance and plan your changes accordingly. Even seemingly small changes may necessitate a new inspection.

Final Thoughts

Construction claims management is both an art and a science. Every case will present new challenges, but much of the conflict boils down to the same thing. The disputes differ only in detail most times. That’s why good consultants can save crews money and time. They know which documents to keep, how to create a solid filing system, and they can offer advice on scheduling that might not otherwise occur to the project manager.