Extension of Time Claim – An Understanding
For the construction industry, an EOT or extension of time claim is based on the contractor’s ability to demonstrate to the client that delays to the schedule have taken place that has impacted their ability to deliver the project on time.
The contractor needs to be able to present clear evidence that the delays occurred for reasons beyond the control of the contractor, often as part of charge order requests. When looking at making an extension of time claim, you should follow the step and documentation specified in the contract. Are you entitled to an extension of time claim?
There are a number of reasons why you might need to make an extension of time claims below of some of the more commons circumstances, that lead to extension of time claim being made.
- Legal issues have affected the project’s completion data or the contractor’s performance
- Long Lead items, requested by owner, have not been received
- The Owner has requested a delayed start
- Additional work, which is not included in the original scope of the agreement
- Unusual or adverse weather conditions
- Subsurface conditions are different than identified or estimated
It’s critical to understand for what reasons an extension of time might be denied, including:
- If the delay being claimed was caused by subcontractors
- When the delay is due to an insufficient or inadequate workforce
- If the delay is due to underperformance by the contractor, for example, in procuring long lead times.
- If the delays are due to typical aversive weather conditions
- When there is insufficient evidence of the cause of the delay the contractor is claiming
The process for claiming an extension of time
There will be differences in the claim process from contract to contract but some components of the process will be similar with all contracts.
Typically, the contractor has a responsibility to notify the Project Manager, when an issue might affect the project schedule. Often, a formal letter should be sent to the contract administrator outlining the request for the extension of time.
Then, it’s often required that the contract administrator forwards the letter to the project manager who is tasked with evaluating the contract and either approving or rejecting the claim. If the project manager approves the extension request, they must formally approve the request with a change order. In many cases, the process has a timeline that must be followed.
When making an EOT claim, you will need to evidence your claim, often with supporting documents. Those supporting documents might include documents that:
- Indicate specific issues causing delays
- List activities in the project schedule that are affected by the issue stipulated in the claim
- The specific amount of time being requested by working days or calendar days
- Are relevant sketches, photographs, or pictures
- Provide evidence the contractor has taken action to avoid or minimize other delays
- Show Communications between construction team notifying of possible delays and problems related to a specific situation.
Some important information:
It’s important to keep in mind that calendar days are not the same as working days. Also, that insurances and relevant bonds should be re-issued to cover the extended periods. Be sure that the time extension takes into account winder days are shorter and therefore less productive than summer days.
Most importantly, ensure that the formal letter is concise and refers specifically to the contract clause that relates to the request.