Key provisions in a construction contract to reduce claims

Any construction project, big or small, comes with a certain amount of risk. Unless both time and cost have been underestimated, there is a likelihood that the project will have cost overruns and delays. Any construction disputes that arise from such issues usually end up with a construction claim that goes before a mediator or legal authority. One way to limit or reduce the possibility of claims is to ensure that key provisions are in the contract to protect you. Here are some of those clauses:


Any request for additional time or cost due to any circumstances must come with written notice to the owner. The owner then has sufficient time to both examine the merits of the claim and make changes to the timeline or cost agreement. When a contractor does not meet the contractual obligation to provide notice, they waive their rights with respect to the contract.

Differing conditions

At face value, the differing site conditions clause looks like protection for the contractor. When a site does not match the original site condition at the point of inspection, the contractor can ask for a fair adjustment in price. The owner benefits by getting a more realistic figure for the initial costing, as the contractor doesn’t need to pad the estimate to account for any unforeseen changes.

Time extension

Whenever possible, insist on a clause that makes the contractor financially liable for any delays for the project within their control.

Written by Lyle Charles Consulting. Get the very best in construction claims consultants for your construction project from Lyle Charles.