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Time Extension: How to Request a Time Extension

How to Request a Time Extension


Construction workers using blueprints
Cultura RM/Seb Oliver/Collection Mix: Subjects/Getty Images

Contract time extensions are based on the ability to demonstrate that delays have occurred in the construction schedule affecting project completion date. All time extension should be bases on delays beyond the Contractor’s control, many of them as part of change order requests. Time extension requests are normally specified in contract’s provision and requesting time extensions should be made following all steps and documentation under the contract guideline.

Time Extension: The Reasons

Time extension requests are normally claimed due to the following circumstances:

  1. Legal issues are affecting the project’s completion or the contractor’s performance
  2. Long lead items, requested by owner, have not been received
  3. The Owner asks for a delayed start
  4. New or Extra Work not included in the original scope or contract
  5. Unusual or adverse weather conditions
  6. Encountering sub-surface conditions differing from the plans

It is also important to highlight that time extensions will be denied by the following reasons:

  • When the delays claim are caused by subcontractors
  • When there is insufficient or inadequate workforce
  • Underperforming by the contractor, specifically procuring long lead items
  • When the project is affected by normal weather delays

Time Extension: The Process

When requesting a time extension certain steps must be followed, otherwise the time extension might not be approved. Normally, the Contractor should notify the Project Manager, when any issue might affect the project schedule. A formal letter must be addressed to the Contract Administrator requesting the time extension and the reasons why those days should be added to the construction schedule. The Contract Administrator should then, remit the letter to the Project Manager for evaluation and approval or rejection. If the time extension is granted, then the Project Manager must answer by written and a change order will be issued. Some contracts specify that time extension requests should be done within a specific time frame, if not; the time extension claim will also be rejected.

Time Extension: Documents

The time extension when properly presented must contain the following supporting documents:

  • Indicate specific issue causing delays
  • List of activities from project schedule being affected by the aforementioned issue
  • Exact amount of time being requested specifying working days or calendar days
  • Sketches, photographs, or pictures
  • Recommendations being given to Contract Administrator
  • Indicate the actions the contractor has taken to avoid or minimize other delays
  • Alternative solutions presented to Contract Administrator

Time Extension: Important Notes

Time extension request should also consider the following:

  • Calendar days are not the same as working days
  • Insurances and other bonds will need to be re-issued to cover extend periods
  • Winter days are shorter or less productive than summer days
  • Be sure that the time extension requested is enough to cover all delays including additional items that might be affected
  • Be sure to understand the changes being proposed and the ramifications of those changes
  • No additional time will be granted for the same item once it has been approved
  • In the case of a continuing delay only one claim is necessary

Time Extension: Sample Letter

The Contractor,

Contractor Address

Contract Name

Contract Number

Extension of time

I refer to your extension of time claim dated (insert date of the Claim).In accordance with clause (insert the contract clause) of the General Conditions of Contract, the Principal grants extension/s of time of:

  • Number of days requested and reasons for the time extension.
The Contractual Completion Date (as previously extended) was (insert contract completion date including previous time extension approvals). This extension of (number of days) days makes (insert new completion date) the Contractual Completion Date

Signed by

Authorized Person

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