Construction claims are not a simple matter, mostly because it can be difficult to gauge the value of what was lost. The potential value of a completed project may vastly outweigh the costs of materials or manpower, at least in the eyes of one of the litigating parties. There are no quick fixes to these issues, and construction mediation is often necessary. Still, it’s important to educate oneself on the potential problems that can arise from construction claims.
Determining True Costs
The first challenge is to determine the cost of what was lost due to delays or other factors. If the records kept by the contractor don’t break costs down well enough, this can be extremely difficult to assess on a piece-by-piece basis. There is also the “total cost” method, where a contractor adds to the costs of the project based on his or her projected expenses, but courts have strict regulations on amounts that can be added. Therefore, in the preparation of your project it is important that you segregate costs to save yourself time and money in litigation.
Proving Delay Claims
Construction delay claims are particularly difficult to determine fault, as both manpower and resources are at stake. Technology has created algorithms to predict some of the workload, but they can’t predict on-the-ground conditions with certainty. Therefore, it is common to see disputes arise where computers were used to predict workloads. It is up to the contractors, schedulers and owners to determine what is actually needed at the site itself.
– Lyle Charles is a construction claims analyst, who specializes in processing claims efficiently. Lyle Charles is also available as an expert witness and construction consultant.