Solid Support

Delay claims are a significant aspect of any construction project, often leading to disputes and financial repercussions. These claims arise when a project is extended beyond the scheduled completion date due to unforeseen circumstances. Understanding the intricacies of delay claims is crucial for both contractors and principals to manage and mitigate potential conflicts, effectively. 

Common Causes of Delays 

Some common causes of construction delays include: 

  • Differing Site Conditions: Unexpected site conditions that were not accounted for during planning.
  • Design Errors and Omissions: Incomplete or incorrect design documents can lead to delays in project execution.
  • Change Orders: Modifications to the project scope during construction can disrupt the schedule.
  • Supply Chain Disruptions: Delays in the delivery of materials and equipment can halt project progress.

Types of Delays

  1. Critical vs. Non-critical Delays: Critical delays affect the project’s overall practical completion date; while non-critical delays do not impact the overall practical completion date but may still disrupt specific project milestones.
  2. Global or Non-global Delays: Global delays can cause the entire off-site and/or on-site works to be disrupted, whereas non-global delays affect just a particular sequence or sequences of work; but other sequences are able to continue.
  3. Excusable vs. Non-excusable Delays: Excusable delays are caused by unforeseen events beyond the contractor’s control, such as inclement weather or changes in the project’s scope. Inexcusable delays are due to contractor’s actions or inactions, like poor project management or inadequate staffing etc.
  4. Compensable vs. Non-compensable Delays: Compensable delays occur when the delay is the principal’s responsibility, entitling the contractor to monetary compensation. Non-compensable delays, on the other hand, do not warrant financial compensation but may still allow for a time extension.

Based on the nature of the delay, you may submit a Notice of Delay (NOD) and Extension of Time (EOT) claim.

Managing Delay Claims

To effectively manage delay claims, it is essential to:

  • Document Everything: Maintain detailed records of all project activities, communications, and changes.
  • Use Scheduling Tools: Implement project management tools like Asta Powerproject, Microsoft® Project or Primavera P6 to track progress and identify potential delays early.
  • Regular Communication: Keep open lines of communication between all stakeholders to address issues promptly.
  • Understand Contract Provisions: Be familiar with the contract’s terms regarding delays, including notice requirements and allowable extensions.

Expert Forensic Planning & Delay Claims Analysis

Our dedicated consultants bring over 30 years of experience to help you navigate these challenges effectively. Our Forensic Planning experts specialise in construction project claim management for both contractors and principals. We provide expert consulting services concerning the cause, prevention and effects of delays in construction projects. Our extensive experience guarantees professional advice, and effective and practical solutions of time-related issues at any stage of your project.

About the writer

Daren Maynard BSc (UWI), MSc (Warwick), PhD (UTS) MIISE, PMP®. works as the National Training Manager at Solid Support. He is an Industrial Engineer specialising in Projects Portfolio Management. In the past 15+ years, he has taught at all levels of education. This teaching experience has been concurrent with his project management experience.