Construction Lawyer & Building Solicitors Sydney | Contracts Specialist Law Firm

Extension of Time in Construction Contracts

Running out of time but there is so much construction work to do? If the delay is not your fault, you can request for an extension of time in your contract.

Consult with Contracts Specialist now to know how. First Consult is FREE.

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Extending Contract Time

Delays can always happen. There are a lot of factors that can happen during the construction phase that can lead to a delay. If the delay is not caused by the contractor, then an extension of time (EOT) can be applied.

This extension of time is a formal request for an additional time period that can make up for delay losses. This is permitted by the law for numerous valid reasons and depending on your contract’s time clause.

What is more important is that you must inform the other contracting parties about your time extension or you may be in a contract dispute.

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Reasonable Grounds for Extension of Time

Some of the acceptable reasons to request an extension of time would be:

  • Ongoing legal disputes;
  • Delays in the delivery of important goods;
  • The client has personally asked you to start work at a later time;
  • The client has requested variations in your scope of work;
  • You have been working in unexpectedly bad weather conditions and;
  • Other reasons deemed reasonable by the builder or head contractor.

You must be able to prove that you are performing well in your work as a contractor. You must be prepared to show sufficient evidence that the delay was caused by external factors that are beyond your control and not by your underperformance.

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Time Clauses in a Contract

Time clauses differ from contract to contract. The contract time clauses can refer to either the whole duration of the contract or in the duration of milestones.

But then, there are different types of contracts and they can have different time clauses. The common types of contracts are:

Lump Sum Contract

This type of contract provides a fixed price for the work to be done. The total contract price is agreed upon by the parties before the work begins.

Cost Plus Contract

This a type of contract that is used for projects with costs that are unpredictable in advance. The client reimburses the expenses in the contract alongside an additional profit margin during the end of contract.

Small Jobs Contract

These are contracts for jobs with prices that ranges from $5,000 to $20,000. These can be paid as per milestones or in full.

Large Jobs Contract

These are home building contracts that costs above $20,000. These contracts require you to have insurance, an understanding of the Consumer Building Guide, and a clause dedicated for dealing with contract variations.

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Who can Request an Extension of Time?

As a contractor, you can file a request for extension of time addressed to your head contractor. You must submit to the one responsible for contract administration, and let the builder and client decide.

If your reason is deemed valid, you can proceed with claiming the extended time period to make up for delays.

Opened letter icon – Extension of Time Contracts | Contracts Specialist

How to Request for an Extension of Time?

Requesting for an extension of time starts through writing a letter of request attached with supporting documents. There are multiple templates that you can use as a basis for your letter. The important thing is to make sure you provide the necessary documents to support your request.

Your letter must contain the number of additional days you would need to complete work. It must include the details of the delay such as:

  • Time or period when the delay happened;
  • Copy of notice where you previously informed the head contractor or client of a possible delay;
  • Material or cost changes due to the delay;
  • Events that led to the delay;
  • Events or works affected by the delay;
  • Measures you did to prevent the delay and;
  • Alternative solutions to make up for the delay.

Take Note: 

  • Don’t forget to attach the respective documents that can support your reasons to extend your time and continue work, particularly the documents required according to your contract. 
  • Make sure you take note of the period of time when you can request for an extension of time. Some contracts provide for time limits upon when the EOT requests can be made. 
  • The client and the project manager have the final say whether to accept your request or not.

Sample Letter for Extension of Time Request

Include Logo

If applicable, include the logo of your construction business on either upper left or upper right corner of your letter.

Include Recipient Information

Sample EOT Heading | Contracts Specialist
  1. On the upper left side of the page, put the following information of your client: 
    • construction’s business name,
    • registered business address, 
    • client’s or project manager’s name, and
    • business email address.
  2. You might also want to include the date the letter was made on the left side of the page. 
  3. You may address the recipient by their surname or by using “Dear Sir / Madam.”

State Your Reference

Sample EOT Reference | Contracts Specialist
  1. Give a summary or heading of what is the basis of the letter, you can put a reference after the greeting. 
  2. You may refer to the clause of the Contract that addresses service and preparation of extension of time requests.

Explain the Nature of the Delay

Sample Nature of Delay Explanation | Contracts Specialist
  1. Make a table to accurately explain the details of the delay and why you need an extension of time.
  2. The chart should contain the date of when the delay happened, description of event and/or delay, events or works affected by the delay, and the number of days you need.
  3. You may also include and explain the material or costs changes due to the delay. Describe the changes and calculate the overall total costs incurred or to be incurred.
  4. Add supplemental information that may support or persuade your client to give you an extension of time.

Sign Your Letter

Sample EOT Signature | Contracts Specialist

Just like a normal letter, sign your request for extension of time by providing your company or business name, registered business address, and contact information.

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Helping you with Construction Contracts

Contracts Specialist can help you communicate sudden changes or variations in your construction contract. Whether it is informing your builder with time or cost changes, you can only get expert legal advice.

We can help you understand and get through the legal process needed to enforce your rights properly. We can also give assistance on how to construct your extension of time request letter properly.

We will guide you on the right process so that you will be given extra time to work on your project without going through a contract dispute.

Schedule a consultation now and enforce your rights. Your first consult is FREE.

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