Worried About Your Project Taking WWAAAYYYY Longer Than It Should?
Some types of projects will require you to move out, so you are paying rent and storage fees on top of the mortgage, in addition to being further away from your kid’s school, your work, or both. Long story short, you want this nomad time period to be as short as earthly possible. It is easy to find yourself amidst a construction project that drags on and on with no end in sight… so let’s circumvent that, shall we? You avoid this by putting a stipulation in your contract that simply states if your project is not complete by X-date, then the contractor must begin paying you a penalty fee for each day that there is a delay not caused by you or a force of nature. You most likely won’t find this little tidbit in any contractor’s in-house contract, as you may have guessed. Have no fear, the AIA contracts are near! Yes-indeedy, the A102-2017 Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor has a section in it that spells out when the project is to be completed and the contractor’s penalty if it isn’t finished on time. (Seriously, I should get a commission for pimping out the AIA’s contracts!) (The thing is, they really are good.)
Keep in mind that this only works if you are keeping very accurate written Change Orders that spell out any modifications to the contract schedule. Please see the section on avoiding unsubstantiated invoices at the end of a project to ensure you use Change Orders properly. There is no way to collect a penalty fee if you are arguing about a change in the schedule that was never properly agreed upon in writing.