ConstructionPro Week, Volume: 3 - Issue: 13 - 03/28/2014

Claim Procedures Are Essential with Extra Work

By Bruce Jervis


Project owners do not want to be surprised with claims for additional work at the conclusion of a project. Contract clauses usually stipulate procedures that give the owner some advance notice and an idea of the increased cost. An example is found in a subcontract on a recent private project in Ohio.


The subcontract included a “changes” clause, which pertained to issues with work already included in the contract, and an “extra work” clause, which was applicable to work outside the scope of the contract ordered or directed by the project owner. The changes clause required written notice prior to starting the work. The extra work clause required a cost breakdown and supporting documentation within five business days of completing the work.


The subcontractor and contractor argued as to whether a quantity overrun was changed work or extra work. A federal appeals court said it didn’t matter. The sub failed to comply with the claim procedures of either contract clause and was not entitled to additional compensation.


It is easy for claim procedures to be overlooked. Field personnel frequently are unaware of the procedures or do not appreciate their significance. There is an attitude that “they already knew about that,” so why bother with written notice. What has your experience been with claim procedures? Can you recommend practices for ensuring compliance? I welcome your comments.



Simple Contract Clause should always direct any/all Subcontractors Notice of scope of work

change order and all parties should submit

copy of that change and put a % cost to the owner and Credit for work that was in the original contract to be reviewed prior to any work completed. Subcontractor elects to complete the work without the Owner's Signature

& Architect/ Project Manager & or Contractor

he or she will not get paid. Subcontractor should not proceed without that paperwork.

Even if he or she is threaten by Contractor or P/M to keep the project on schedule.

Posted by: Kenneth Jones - Friday, March 28, 2014 11:53 AM


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