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Construction contracts need to consider the weather

The weather seems to have become more and more unpredictable in recent years. Moreover, extreme and unusual weather could happen at any time. While people in most professions can simply go with the flow, those in the construction industry can't always do that.

In most cases, if the weather is bad, work comes to a halt if you work construction. This can make it challenging to finish a project on time as a general contractor. Therefore, your construction contracts need to take into account delays due to the weather. The more leeway you can work into them, the less likely it is that you will sustain significant losses.

Preparing for bad weather and its limitations

As you prepare a bid and negotiate a contract with a property owner and/or developer, you may want to keep the following in mind:

  • Accounting for expected weather delays isn't necessarily the difficult part. You also need to factor in those unexpected weather events that can put your project on hold.
  • Negotiate who will cover the added costs associated with weather delays, such as materials, labor and more. You may be able to pass on some of those costs to the other party.
  • Factor in work stoppages when bidding and negotiating a contract. Be prepared to have to accelerate your timetable once work can begin again.
  • Make sure the contract addresses events outside anyone's control, which includes weather events and "acts of God," which could include events such as tornadoes.

There could come a time when you need to make a claim due to the weather. Make sure you document everything for the claim and make sure you remain within the contract. Have a response plan in place for the amount of time crews may be unable to work due to the weather. The more you show that you tried to mitigate the damage, the better off you will be, especially if you were able to negotiate sharing the costs of the delay with the other party.

Enlist the proper assistance

Your construction contracts should not only outline the agreements between you and the other party. They should also protect your rights as much as possible and insulate you from costly delays and other events that could jeopardize your success as a general contractor.

Enlisting the aid of a Dallas attorney with experience in construction law could prove invaluable.

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