February 13, 2015
By Bob Incollingo
The present labor dispute between West Coast port owners and dock workers reminds us that the modern supply chain is a long one, and events far away may interrupt purely local concerns such as a construction project. Although the cause may be remote, the risk is not. Your home improvement contract should clearly shift the risk of delays outside your control.
Here is a specimen clause concerning delays:
1. Delays. Owner bears the risk under these Contract Documents for delays in completion due to acts of God, inclement weather, strikes, lockouts, material shortages, lack of availability of utility services, fire, theft, sickness, declared emergency, earthquake, vandalism, war, terrorist act, natural disaster, governmental action, or any other causes beyond Contractor’s control, including specifically, Owner’s failure to obtain prior zoning, planning, and other public and private approvals for the Work. If Contractor is delayed at any time in the progress of the Work by changes ordered in the Work, or by any cause beyond Contractor’s control, then the Contract Time and the Contract Price may be increased by Change Order for such reasonable time and/or amount as Contractor may determine.
Cherry Hill construction lawyer Robert J. Incollingo is a Director of the Remodelers Council of the Builders League of South Jersey, and practices construction law, business law, and real estate law in Camden County, Gloucester County, and Burlington County, New Jersey.