Dear YouDig?

Back to School – No More Excuses for Unfinished Projects

Dear YouDig?,

A few years ago we planned an intricate multi-million dollar expansion of our facilities. We entered into a stipulated-sum construction contract with a premier general contractor.

From the beginning of construction, it seemed like not enough workers were on site and things were progressing slowly. We don’t build buildings but it sure seemed fishy.   The contractor pacified us with various excuses, which we didn’t really understand.  Now we are approaching the expected completion date, and we don’t see any way the Contractor can finish.

It’s damaging and, frankly, embarrassing. We feel like we failed our shareholders.  What should we do?

-Flunked Out

Dear Flunked,

Come, Flunked. Before you fail let’s find out if you do the extra credit and avoid the embarrassment. Generally, contractors are obligated to furnish such employees, materials, facilities, and equipment to complete the work on the agreed schedule. The common form agreements cover this basic concept. However, these general contractors build a lot of structures and have a mind of their own at times. Now you have a completion problem.

As a diligent owner you should have ensured that the agreement requires the general contractor to add shifts, extra shifts, overtime, holidays, skip the game and the dance and do whatever is necessary to meet the schedule–AT THE CONTRACTOR’S COST.

Such an assignment will make the contractor take ITS work seriously and avoid the extra homework, YouDig?