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Construction law issues: Weather delays

Even meteorologists cannot accurately predict the weather beyond a certain point. Determining whether any delay-causing weather will occur during a Massachusetts construction project that will last at least months is impossible. This unknown requires careful handling when it comes to entering into a contract in order to minimize its impact and avoid construction law issues. 

Without a doubt, every construction contract should include provisions about the weather. Adding additional time onto the completion date is one way. It is better to come in early on a project than late. Thereafter, the definition of what an adverse weather condition constitutes needs defining. These types of events could automatically extend the time of the contract to compensate for the weather.

A primary issue with weather delays is that they often encompass more than just a delay in work. Other problems can arise with subcontractors, suppliers and others. Cascading delays need to be accounted for as well.

The contract needs to include as many contingencies as possible when it comes to weather delays. It is important to remember that the contract will more than likely be the ruling document if any disputes arise. Since weather may be the most unpredictable aspect of any project, covering it adequately is vital.

The primary concern in any construction law dispute surrounding the weather is proving that it was the source of the delay and not something else. Communication with the client is key. The sooner that a Massachusetts contractor discusses the delay with the client, the more likely the property owner will approve the delays while the bad weather is fresh in his or her mind. Moreover, the better the contract outlines how to address weather delays, the better things may go under these circumstances.

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