Construction Project Management Problems

Construction legal advice




1. Is there a rule of thumb to apply when deciding the appropriate procurement method for a construction project?


2. If the tender enquiry documents provide for materials which require a longer lead in time than the proposed contract period what should a tendering contractor or subcontractor do?

3. If a tender enquiry document requires tenderers to carry out subsoil investigations to establish the nature of the ground, but the tender period is too short to enable a proper investigation to be carried out, what should the tenderers do?

4. If a contractor or subcontractor submits a tender which is to be left open for acceptance for 28 days, and subsequently discovers a significant error before the end of the period, can the tender be withdrawn?


5. A contract is let and includes a clause that the contractor will submit a programme for approval by the Engineer or Architect. Work commences and the contractor consistently promises to submit the programme but fails to do so. What should the Architect or Engineer do?


6. If a contractor or subcontractor on a design and construct scheme carries out some design work before the contract is entered into and then the project is abandoned what should he or she do to try and recover the design costs?

7. A contract is entered into which includes a specification for pipes with tolerances given. After work starts it becomes clear that no manufacturer manufactures to the tolerances given, what should be done and who pays any additional cost?


8. What should a contractor do if he or she submits daywork sheets on time but the Clerk of Works or Architect refuses or neglects to sign them?

9. What should a contractor or subcontractor do if he or she receives an instruction to take down work which is alleged to be defective if the contractor or subcontractor considers the work is of the standard required by the contract?

10. What action should the contractor take when the period of the final measure has elapsed and the Quantity Surveyor has failed to produce the Final Account despite having been sent all the necessary documentation by the contractor?


11. An Architect or Engineer issues a variation order. The contractor submits a quotation for the extra cost of carrying out the variation indicating in the quotation that no work on the variation will be carried out until the quotation is accepted. What should the Architect or Engineer do?

12. A contract states that all extra work should be the subject of a written Architect's instruction as no payment will be made for extra work in the absence of a written instruction. The Architect gives a verbal instruction which is carried out by the contractor. How should the contractor go about securing payment?


13. Two subcontractors carry out their work alongside each other working to the extremity of allowable tolerances. Unfortunately the work of both subcontractors when complete does not provide a complete fit. The subcontractors are instructed to sort out the problem themselves. What should they do?
14. If a contractor or subcontractor is contracted to prepare working or shop drawings but to help the Architect or Engineer out he or she prepares some basic design drawings, how should he or she set about getting paid extra?


14. A subcontractor is running behind programme due partly to it's own default, partly due to others. The contractor brings extra labour onto the site to supplement the subcontractor's efforts and informs the subcontractor that any resultant extra costs will be deducted from monies due to the subcontractor. What should the subcontractor do?

15. A contract provides for possession of the site to be provided by the Employer on 1 February 2003. Unfortunately, the Employer is only able to provide a part of the site on that date, the remainder being unavailable for a further 6 weeks. Is the contractor legally entitled to refuse to commence work until all the site is available?


16. If an Architect or Engineer is late issuing a drawing can he or she refuse to grant an extension of time for the projected delay on the grounds that the contractor was himself causing a parallel delay?

17. A Bill of Quantities forming part of the contract includes all foundation work to be provisional subject to remeasurement. The quantities in general when remeasured show an increase of 10% over those included in the Bill of Quantities. How should the contractor set about demonstrating an entitlement, if any, to an extension of time?


18. If a contract price is exceeded due to default on the part of the Engineer or Architect what should the Employer do to try and recover the overspend from the Engineer or Architect at fault?

19. Where an Employer insists upon giving his or her approval to an Architect or Engineer's decision concerning extensions of time and additional cost resulting from delay before an award is made, what should the contractor do to ensure the Architect or Engineer is not unduly influenced by the Employer when making the decision?

20. During the preparation of the Final Account and evaluation of a claim the Quantity Surveyor requests from the contractor a copy of his or her tender build up. The contractor has no wish to divulge the methods he or she employs in putting together the tender. Is he or she entitled to refuse to comply with the request?


22. A subcontractor submits his or her Final Account. The contractor refuses to deal with the matter explaining that he or she has not yet sorted out the Final Account under the main contract with the Quantity Surveyor. The subcontractor is told he or she will have to await the outcome of the main contract deliberations. What should the subcontractor do?

23. A subcontract requires the main contractor to take out all risks insurance. The subcontract works are damaged by fire and the subcontractor makes a claim against the main contractor's insurance. When paying the subcontractor the amount of the insurance claim the main contractor deducts an amount for the uninsured risk. What should the subcontractor do?


24. What should an Architect or Engineer do where he or she has given a written instruction to a contractor to take down defective work and the instruction has been ignored?

25. A brick manufacturer who has been named in the specification supplies defective bricks. They are rejected by the Clerk of Works as being substandard and the Architect agrees. The brick manufacturer indicates that the bricks supplied are his normal standard and will not give an undertaking that the quality will improve. The contractor asks the Architect for an instruction, what should the Architect do?

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