As they say, timing is everything, and the success of a development project often hinges on when it will be complete. Whether it’s a new business, a new school, or some other project, delay can be disastrous for an owner. Here are five tips to reduce the risks of project delay.

Avoid terms that shift delay risk

The AIA and other form construction contracts contain waivers of consequential damages or other terms that shift the risk of project delay onto the owner. Many people will argue that “consequential damages” include the owner’s damages for loss of use of the project, although some will argue that waivers of consequential damages are unenforceable in Oregon under ORS 30.140. Depending, then, on how the waiver is interpreted, you may be waiving your right to hold the contractor responsible for delay – even if the contractor is 100% at fault. If possible, an owner should resist risk-shifting terms.

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"Five Tips to Prepare for Delay" was published March 15, 2013 by the Daily Journal of Commerce.