Construction deadlines and delays

Construction deadlines and delays

Written by Lyle Charles

Most construction contracts will have terms that include deadlines and delays. However, the most important deadline is the substantial completion deadline. This deadline, when reached, gives the owner the right to rent, sell, work or live at the construction site/project.

This deadline is also important as it is linked to satisfying obligations to third parties, such as local government requirements for completion by a specified date. Here are some tips that will help construction companies improve their construction claims management processes and meet this deadline.

Identifying the deadline – You should make a note of the deadline, either from the start of the project or from the start of completion of a specific event. If you use the latter, remember that if this process is delayed, you should reduce these days off your countdown.

Construction delays – Every project will have delays, but it is important to assess the delay to reduce further delays that will cause bigger issues. Ask the following questions; 1. Who or what caused the delay? 2. Will the delay affect other deadlines? Will the price be affected?

Excuse delays – These are delays that are due to unforeseen events that could not be predicted before the parties entered the contract. Some of these delays are specifically mentioned in the contract and others have to be qualified as an excused delay to receive an extension. Therefore it is best to categorize and inform the relevant parties, using a delay notice, as soon as possible.

Including these three main processes into your construction project will help to reduce construction delay claims and ensure that your company retains its reputation.


Lyle Charles is an expert in commercial and residential construction, and is certified in construction mediation and construction claims preparation.