Who Pays for the Unexpected in Construction?—The Owner's Viewpoint

by John A. Economides, Irvine Ranch Water District, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Excellence in the Constructed Project


The question of who pays for the unexpected in construction cannot be answered in a way that will apply to all situations. The contract documents are the starting point for determining what is unexpected, who is to pay for each type of unexpected condition, and how disputes are to be resolved. Discussions between the owner and the contractor should focus not on whether something was unexpected or not, but on who should be responsible for the costs incurred with handling the actual condition. These discussions ought to be held without being influenced by any financial constraints, since the goal of the discussions is to determine the degree of each party's responsibility for the costs, not on who can afford to pay for it.

Subject Headings: Construction management | Owners | Contracts | Dispute resolution | Contractors and subcontractors | Financial management | Construction industry | Payment

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