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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I am an estimator for a small GC in northeast LA and I have a question about rain days. If anyone could help me out that would be great.

I have researched the topic a bit but I can't find anything definitive. I need to know if a contractor has a legal right to time extension because of inclement weather.

Our company was awarded a contract around the end of last year for a shop building and during bidding we could not find anything in the specifications, general, or supplementary conditions concerning time extensions and rain delays. Our questions on the subject were unanswered during bidding so we posed the question at our pre-bid meeting and the engineer informed us that he did not allow any time extensions due to rain.

Being winter in Louisiana, we have been delayed several times over the course of the project by rain and it does not seem "fair" for him to disallow any time extensions especially considering that we can't find that verbage any where in his specifications for the project. I understand that we probably do not have any legal right to "fair" treatment but I would still like to know if we have any rights concerning rain delays.

Something to note. This engineer does not use AIA General Conditions, which do include verbage concerning rain delays. Instead it appears that he has had a lawyer write up a set of general and supplementary conditions that protect him to the fullest.
 

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Welcome to ContractorTalk! It's customary to introduce yourself over in the Introductions forum. It helps us understand who you are, and it sometimes helps you get a friendlier reception if your first post is an "I screwed up, what should I do?" question.

Anyhoo...

If you asked about rain delays, and you were told that you weren't allowed any rain delays, and you bid the project anyway without getting an allowance for rain delays, why would you expect to be granted extra time for rain delays?

That being said, what matters is what's in the contract, the circumstances, and the local legal environment. Even time-is-of-the-essence clauses aren't necessarily set in stone. Talk to an attorney.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I apologize for not posting an introduction first. I will definitely go make a new thread letting everyone know a little bit about myself. Also, thank you for your reply. I assumed that is the answer I would receive and I understand that it may have been foolish to enter into a contract without having those terms defined beforehand.
 

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Has the rainy weather reached the once in twenty years class?

Could you have de watered the work area at a reasonable cost, dry wells, tarping etc... Tenting?

Failing to plan for "normal" wet extremes is poor planning.

Were others engaged in the same work able to forward their projects in the area? Impossibility is the first escape clause for any contract....

In your companies O& P and insurance package their should some type of consideration for sharing the costs/profits of unusually poor and favorable weather events---What did you do with the $ you made during the dry spells???

What to do here and now...
1.Walk away and call your lawyer & insurance agent.
2.Beg the owner for some more time.
3.Start reading contracts and use industry accepted average # of working days for your trade.
4.Hire more men and equipement/ run multiple shifts to finish closer to on time. Work on the job yourself after hours if possible.
5.Sub let some of the job to local compeditors that aren't busy...
6.Call your Errors & Ommissions underwriter with the bad news.
7.Again, if you started ASAP and Manned & equipped the job every day possible, Impossibility "should" free you from back charges, otherwise if you bid the job planning on 100% sunshine, you deserve to pay for your silliness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
4thgen: I do not believe the amount of rain we received exceeded the normal range for the time period but I have requested precipitation records from the NOAA/NCDC just to be sure.

I don't want to give you guys the wrong impression and make you think that we did not anticipate some delays due to the weather. Anyone from our area can tell you that the winter time is always unusually wet and we did try to account for that but I have never seen an engineer adamantly deny you any sort of leeway concerning wet conditions. I was just wondering if there were any laws to protect the contractor in this case but I assumed there were not.

I would like to clarify that we are the GC on the project and the rain came during the construction of the pad and slab. Also, thank you guys for the replies. Any information is helpful.
 

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I was at a pre-bid meeting at a local military base one time and the engineer had written in the specs that there would be no additional days for bad weather. A couple of the major contractors in town questioned him about it. When he refused to even talk about it, they got up and left the meeting. Three days later an addendum was released addressing rain delays, lol.

Good luck with the arch/engineer.... Some of them can be a$$holes.
 

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LA General, "...time is always UNUSALLY wet...." It can be unusally wet, or it can be always wet, but never,ever both at the same time. Maybe an undiagnosed medical issue? :smile: All kiding aside that is unusually fuzzy thinking.

At some point during the deluge, You should have realized there was no way to meet the original schedule, That was the moment to act to minimise the damage.

If there were any dry weekends you didn't work when possible, I'd enforce the Contract just like the PM is on you.

Going forward, get and use the local weather averages and extremes Hot and Cold to plan on future availiable work days, up here we have first and last frost dates, and ice storms, blizzards,and the occasional tornado, but no Hurricanes yet...
Check the civil sheets for the job sites grade, is it so flat it is an instant swamp after 2" rain? no storm sewers/ drainage ditches, access roads are all weather or dirt? Shady side of the valley--doesn't thaw out until July 4th, refreezes labor Day, or Death Valley, no shade, no trees, no moisture, just Heat and a hot wind. Can you afford/not afford to install a temp rock road for construction traffic?

I'd buy a good book on intro to construction contracts and a Critical path Management text. As Contractors we sell two out of "triangle" of possibilities of services to build a property, Speed, Quality, & cost. The Buyer can have only two of the three, Quick and cheap, no quality, fast and Good, very exspensive, or good & cheap=the slow boat from China. pick one.

Parish(county) Engineer perhaps? send $$/wiskey to the parish(county) supervisors maybe?
 
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