Protecting Yourself from the Pitfalls of Project Completion
When working on a project of any size, all of the involved parties are concerned with making sure that the project is completed on time. And as the project size increases so does the pressure to get things done. When that date begins to close in and the project is coming to an end, it’s not uncommon that employees and project managers alike start to feel the pressure and, as a result, begin to work on an accelerated schedule.
When everyone involved starts to think about things like final payment, punch lists, and lien deadlines it can be hard to make sure that nothing slips through the cracks. But regardless of the size of the project and the time-line for completion, as those final few weeks come, consider these tips to make sure that you finish strong and protect yourself from the pitfalls of that accelerated schedule.
Final inspections are sometimes incomplete or avoided altogether. You should always perform a final inspection and partner with the owner, architect, engineers, general contractor, and major subcontractors to check completed work against the final versions of the design.
When lien waivers and releases are not routinely collected it will almost certainly cause disputes. You should establish and follow a procedure for collection and submission of lien and claim waivers each pay period to ensure the acknowledgement on both ends.
The contract should define the procedure for closing out the project, including all documentation required of the various parties. Whether you’re a contractor or the owner, check all of the release documentation you’re asked to sign against your contract requirements.
Most defective work disputes are pressured as the due date closes in. Consider using a warranty bond or tolling agreement to afford the parties the time necessary to investigate and resolve any existing defective work claims.
Owners should carefully read all warranty disclaimers and calendar out the expiration of any warranty periods and applicable statutory periods for claims. Consider securing extended product warranties where applicable. Schedule and conduct 1, 2, 5, and 10 year reviews of the building and its critical systems for any latent deficiencies.
Make sure you have complete copies of all insurance certificates and the policies that might afford you coverage in the case of a potential claim. Use a tracking spreadsheet to summarize the policy providers, policy numbers, and limits of coverage.
Construction projects, especially large projects, come with many potential problems as they near completion. It’s important that you take the time to close out the project properly. Keep these tips in mind the next time your project is coming to and end to avoid these problems. It’s likely that these issues will arise, but with a little preparation you’ll be ready to face them when they do.
While it’s important to make sure you are checking all the boxes as a project comes to it’s end, what are you doing to check all the boxes on the job site during the project?
We created the Proper Job Site Maintenance Checklist to help you keep things organized as you work to get the job done. Download the checklist today and keep it on hand to ensure that your site looks the way it should!