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Change Orders and Extensions of Time

  • 1.  Change Orders and Extensions of Time

    Posted 11-09-2017 09:06

    I am reviewing a request for an extension of Contract Time on one of our projects.  A Change Order request was submitted involving several electrical items.  I rejected two of the items since they are noted and detailed within the set of construction drawings.  The contractor disagrees with my decision so I issued a Change Order for the non-disputed items and a Construction Change Directive for the two disputed items to avoid delay as prescribed in General Conditions.


    The contractor is asking for a time extension not only for the additional electrical work but for the time expended in preparing the Change Order and Construction Change Directive.  I have not encountered this specific situation previously and I am trying to determine what is reasonable.  There was a lot of back and forth over several days with e-mails and phone conversations to get things resolved.  It doesn't seem fair to me that the Owner should be penalized for the time that the contractor spent in responding.  I should add that there are liquidated damages involved and so the number of days of delay that I allow has significance.


    Has anyone out there dealt with a similar situation?  General Conditions doesn't address this specific issue. 




    Donald F. Sopranzi, AIA, LEED-AP  Architect

    10260 North Central Expressway, Suite 258

    Dallas, Texas 75231




  • 2.  RE: Change Orders and Extensions of Time

    Posted 11-10-2017 17:47
    You noted that two of the items were detailed within the construction drawings.  If that is the case, why did you need to issue a Construction Change Directive?  A CCD is specifically for a change in the work.  I don't know all of the details, but by issuing a CCD you may have acknowledge that the items were changes in the work.  An ASI might have been a better choice.

    We do occasionally have contractors ask for time extensions for delays including the time it took to resolve an issue with back and forth paperwork or for decisions to be made.  Our first comment to the GC is that time extensions can only be realized for things that actually caused a delay in the critical path schedule.  If one portion of work was delayed, but that particular scope is not critical path work, then we would not typically allow a time extension.  Also, we include a very description specification section 012600 - Contract Modification Procedures that outlines circumstances for changing the contract, including the amount of time that should be allotted for a response to requested changes.  There could be details to a given situation that might warrant a time extension though.

    A conversation with you, the contractor, and the owner might be able to resolve the issue before it gets ugly.

    Brad McKenzie, AIA
    Assistant Director of Business Operations
    Project Architect

  • 3.  RE: Change Orders and Extensions of Time

    Posted 11-10-2017 18:24
    Is there an inspector on the job?

    Has the electrician stopped work or unable to proceed?  Does the change affect other trades?  Do the change affect the critical path?  Why didn't the contractor issue his change request sooner so as not to delay the work?

    Tim Mead, AIA, Architect

  • 4.  RE: Change Orders and Extensions of Time

    Posted 11-10-2017 20:21
    Mr. Sopranzi ---

    If you have a good Professional Liability Insurance company and policy, you should be able to get good advice there.  I've been with Schinnerer for decades.  My "go-to" rep was the regular Agent for a long time; she has moved-around since, but is still accessible.  She's always had a great knowledge of concepts and practices, along with lots of common sense.

    Hopefully, you can find someone good in or through your Agent, and get this situation reviewed, with some ideas on how to proceed.  This is what all that insurance money has been paid for!

    Keep the Client in the loop, and maybe this will be a good "war story" 10 years from now...

    Good wishes ---
    william j. devlin aia, inc.,
    Springfield, MA