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What Are Differing Site Conditions?

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2023 | Construction Law | 0 comments

One construction project might require multiple agreements with a diverse pool of contractors based on the structure’s details. Despite planning and organizing everything, it is normal to encounter setbacks or issues anytime during the project.

Construction agreements could have provisions for these unexpected factors that impact timelines and pricing, such as differing site conditions. This provision in a contract can come into play if a contractor encounters unforeseen site conditions they did not know about beforehand.

These conditions have two categories:

  • Subsurface or latent physical conditions not indicated in the contract
  • Unique physical site conditions unknown before starting work and might need further examination or investigation before continuing the job

After discovering these issues at the site, the contractor must report it to the contracting party if it might lead to cost changes and additional labor.

These circumstances might be unexpected, but they are normal in any construction project. That is why clauses addressing differing site conditions are standard in this kind of contract.

What Happens if a Contractor Discovers Differing Site Conditions?

After spotting relevant site conditions, the contractor must notify the contracting party who hired them. Then, the site will undergo investigation as soon as possible.

This investigation will determine and review factors on the site that could lead to changes in expenses, deadlines and labor. Of course, they could implement adjustments as needed by the project.

Still, the outcome could depend on the circumstances. Certain conditions require the government’s involvement, so they can also investigate the site. In this case, the contractor might need to take steps based on the government’s findings.

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