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Delays in Construction Contracts


In North Carolina residential and commercial construction contracts, it is extremely common for there to be frustration stemming from delays in the performance under the contract. In construction litigation, “time is money” is a true statement, and parties can be held responsible if they have caused delays resulting in monetary loss to the owner, contractor, or sub-contractor.  The construction litigation lawyers of Maginnis Howard are experienced in construction law matters and handle cases in Wake County as well as Johnston, Harnett, and Chatham Counties.  Contact the firm at (919) 526-0450 or submit a confidential new case inquiry here.

In North Carolina, parties to a construction contract – such as owners, general contractors, or subcontractors – can be held responsible as a breach of contract for delays or slow work if their performance interferes with the performance of another party. Although commonly contractors are blamed for slow performance, delays caused by a building owner or homeowner also can be compensated if they unreasonably cause delays.

Generally, there are no recoverable damages from excusable delays.  Excusable delays are ones that are either 1) unforeseeable; 2) involve outside forces for which the party had no control; 3) are not based on the party’s fault or negligence.  The most common excuses for delays relate to weather or labor issues.  The primary issue is whether or not they are foreseeable; some bad weather can always be expected and a few days of rain or snow in the winter are not a basis for an excusable delay.

Some common delays which are inexcusable include the failure of the owner to deliver suitable materials; failure of the owner to have the site ready and accessible for work; failure of the owner or contractor to properly coordinate the work of parallel contractors or subcontractors; or the contractor having other jobs that they have chosen to place a higher priority on.  As these delays are not excusable, you may be able to recover your damages resulting from their failure to complete their performance in a timely fashion.

If you are a property owner (commercial or residential), a contractor, or subcontractor with a construction law matter, contact the law firm Maginnis Law, PLLC to discuss your potential legal matter.  Maginnis Law is a Wake County civil litigation firm with attorneys handling cases in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Durham, as well as Johnston, Harnett and Chatham Counties.  Contact the firm at (919) 526-0450 to schedule an initial consultation or submit a confidential new case inquiry here.