Should your construction contracts have timing clauses?

On Behalf of | May 22, 2023 | Construction Contracts |

When discussing details for even a minor construction project, it can be difficult to ensure all parties are on the same page. After all, seemingly plain-language words might mean something different to you, your suppliers and your customers or clients. According to LinkedIn, well-written contracts bring valuable certainty to any job.

Meaningful construction contracts do not have to be long or full of legalese, though. Indeed, to get the most out of your contract, it should both cover essential terms and be understandable by everyone. Nevertheless, for a few reasons, it is often advisable to include a “time is of the essence” provision in your contracts.

What is a “time is of the essence” clause?

Obviously, contractors and their customers expect the timely completion of any project. A “time is of the essence” clause makes timely completion a material part of the contract. As a result, if the contractor or customer unreasonably or unnecessarily delays completion, the wronged party might have grounds to pursue a breach of contract claim.

How can a “time is of the essence” clause be helpful?

In the construction sector, contractors regularly devise completion schedules. These schedules typically act as guidelines, rather than certain project delivery dates. This arrangement is good for contractors and customers alike, as many outside factors can contribute to timing delays without either party necessarily doing anything inappropriate.

Project completion by a certain date is sometimes a necessity, however. For example, a tile contractor may need to complete a renovation prior to the weekend that kicks off ski season. Failing to do so, of course, may cause the customer to lose money or even incur fines.

Ultimately, placing a “time is of the essence” provision in your construction contracts ensures everyone takes the completion timeframe seriously.

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