The schedule on construction projects is often as important as the budget. So, when I read an article that identifies significant problems with a project, but specifically notes that the general contractor says that the problems will not create any delays, I often wonder if the parties are being realistic. I also wonder whether the subcontractors will be forced to work extra time to make up the schedule.
ENR recently published an article about ‘hiccups’ during construction of the new Raiders football stadium. The article noted that Grand Canyon Development, an independent monitor on the project, expressed some concerns that the timeline could be pushed back because of construction and weather problems. Specifically, Grand Canyon noted that a number of bolts that hold up the translucent roof were overstressed and broke. Las Vegas also had twice as much rain last December than it historically receives.
Yet, the construction team is quite adamant that the project will be done on time.
Really? These most recent problems seem serious and significant. How often have you sheered off some bolts due to overstressing, yet experienced no delay? How often have you had twice as much rain as expected and experienced no delay?
Couple these two recent developments with the fact that the roof was supposed to be completed last fall and is not expected to be done until May. These all make me seriously question if this project will be completed on time.
I can certainly see one way the project gets done on time–a directive that all subcontractors work overtime to get the project back on schedule. I’m also certain that the construction contract contains a provision that allows the general contractor to require the subcontractors to add more staff to the project. I wonder if the subcontractor will get paid for that work?
Take Away: Construction schedules are a big deal. Are you reviewing your contracts to determine what the general contractor can require you to do to get the project back on schedule? More importantly, can you get paid for it?
If you are not sure whether the contracts you are signing would allow you to recover the costs of increased staffing, we recommend you have your contracts reviewed by an experienced construction attorney.