Builder’s Christmas Shutdown

Christmas shutdownEvery Year I hear complaints of “Everything has stopped on my House Build for a month

What can make it worse is when the builder ‘Tries’ to claim an ‘Extension of Time’ for the Build.

What Does The Contract Say?

Well I have looked through the HIA Contract for my last build and here are the relevant parts.

Schedule 1*

Schedule 1 is the place that the builder states the time for completion of the build.

It specifically provides the builder with the opportunity to show how many days are included for; Weekends, public holidays,  rostered days off, and other foreseeable delays. (Christmas, and Easter, shutdowns come round every year! . . . .You can’t tell me they are not foreseeable!)

Builders Right to Extensions of Time (Clause 34*)

Acceptable reasons for ‘Extensions of Time’are:

  • The owner requests a variation.
  • Suspension due to the Owner Breaching the Contract.
  • Inclement Weather. (Bad weather during a foreseeable closure doen’t count! . . . unless it is at the end of the period and leaves the site too wet for a quick start.)
  • Disputes with neighbours that are not the builders fault.
  • Civil Commotion or industrial action (Annual shutdowns are not industrial action!)
  • Anything not done by the owner or their agents.
  • Approval delays that are not the builders fault. (It is foreseeable that there may be a delay in getting approval over the Christmas and Easter periods!)
  • Anything the builder can’t control (By making appropriate allowance in Schedule 1 the Builder controls the situation!)

What You Can Do

Before Signing The Contract

Ask the Builder to provide in writing the details of the allowance for foreseeable delays to Schedule 1*

If The Builder Claims For A Christmas, Or Easter, Shutdown Extension.

Write back stating “Building Industry  Shutdowns during the main Holiday Periods are entirely foreseeable events that should have been allowed for in the Build Period”.

* In your contract documents the numbers may be different but you should find similar sections.


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