If a project takes longer than expected due to unforeseeable reasons beyond the contractor’s control, then the contractor may have a delay claim against the owner. Typical delay-claim damages include extended general conditions, home office overhead, and financing costs.
Delay claims are one of the most common issues that arise on construction projects. Typically, the burden is on the contractor to prove a delay claim, and the contractor must prove the following three elements:
- the length of the delay;
- the causal link between the delay and the owner’s wrongful acts; and
- the harm to the contractor due to the delay (i.e., the contractor’s damages).
The second element can be the most difficult to prove. To show a causal link between the owner’s wrongful acts and the delay, the contractor must show that the owner’s actions affected the activities on the critical path of the project.