By Published On: May 1, 20193 min readCategories: ContractorsTags: , , , , ,

So you have this project that has prints and specs, you’ve been there to check out the project site and conditions and your start date is scheduled to have you arrive and perform your scope of work. You sign the contract, shake hands and leave. This is going to be great; you think to yourself.

You go back to your office and make all the arrangements to start the project in three weeks. You make a schedule, assign personnel, allocate vehicles, equipment, tools and supplies. You order the material and allocate the three weeks it will take on site.

Three days before you’re scheduled start date you call your client and he says, “oh yes, we are all ready, come and execute your scope of work”.

The start day arrives, and you pull the trigger and put everything in motion for a flawless delivery of your services.

About an hour after you knew the crew was starting on site your phone rings and on the screen, it says it’s your crew foremen calling.

What happens next shocks the hell out of you. Your foreman tells you the site is not ready and the area where you are supposed to perform your services is not even finished being built!

So now what do you do? You have spent a couple thousand dollars getting ready and mobilizing. You have all the material to hand, fabricated and delivered for install. You’ve spent tens of thousands on that. You made the schedule according to the info from your client. Now, your stuck. You can’t work, can’t get paid and have nothing for work because you allotted 3 weeks to do this project and your next project is 3 weeks away.

But it gets worse… you’ve got all this money and time tied up. Now you have to demobilize and return to this project when it is ACTUALLY ready. This creates a huge problem in scheduling around your future commitments. So now, extra help is required and so extra costs to you.

Well, this first thing you do is document exactly what has occurred, what will occur and why, sending it to all parties involved directly on the project. Make sure this includes all the correct times and dates, the names of the people involved, the companies they work for and exactly what was said. Make it known that additional costs will be incurred because of this.

Then, write up a change order to cover the additional costs of the demob and remob. If there is rental equipment involved make sure that’s part of the charges, and you’ll have to return it and make sure it will be available for when you can do the project.

Finally, you request to be paid the value for what you have already completed and the change order, before you return to finish the scope of work on the site. You did not create the problem and therefore you should not be paying for it. Get paid what you have invested in the project before you return to finish it. You delivered what you promised, so it is only right that your client does the same.

In closing, remember this – get EVERYTHING in writing, right from the first communication about the project. Then if this scenario happens to you, you already have every written document to back your claim of correctness in the matter, as well as helping your client ferret out who the real culprit is and get that corrected so it doesn’t happen again in the future.

about Joel Anderson

Joel Anderson is the founder of Nuts and Bolts Contracting, LLC, and the company’s primary consultant.

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