“I don’t care how much it costs or how long it takes”

Cheops (Khufu) Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt - c 2500 b.c.e.

You’ve got to hand it to Khufu – he was probably right. After all, he was responsible for one of the greatest tourist attraction of all time, which, apart from keeping professors of construction the world over scratching their heads wondering how on earth it was built, must have repaid its capital cost many times over in tourist revenues.

The construction industry is as old as time, but the same three elements have always been crucial to each and every contract; time, cost, and quality. In order to deliver to the client what he wants, these three elements must be interchanged, varied, and balanced. It is not realistically possible to optimise or maximise all three criteria at the same time. Either a balance must be achieved or, as Khufu foresaw, two of the elements must be sacrificed (to a greater or lesser degree) for the benefit of the third.

Construction is a hugely stimulating industry; it is dynamic, demanding and creative. But it is also a multifaceted and intricate process. Each new project is unique and bespoke, having its own complexities and relying for the success of the whole on the performance and impeccable timing of a vast number of different parties - each with their own problems, priorities, mood-swings, and foibles - to perform their part of the puzzle. Not surprisingly, things rarely go entirely according to plan.

Building owners can be difficult individuals, and understandably so. They know what they want, and are paying good money. They are entitled to change their minds whilst the building is under construction in order to achieve their goals, even if they do not always appreciate the difficulties and heartache they are causing their contractors and technical advisors.

As for those among us brave (or foolish) enough to call themselves contractors, with all the things which can go wrong with the construction process, there are a myriad of reasons why they might need more time or money, or both, to finish the project and fulfil the aspirations and expectations of the building owner.

Whenever there is change affecting time, cost, or quality, there will be differing views on the effect of that change. In most cases, the client’s professional team will somehow manage to work it out with the contractor and come to a compromise acceptable to the client, but this is not so in every case.

This website outlines how the peter evans partnership team may be able to help you when things go wrong. Please take a few minutes to peruse the site, and if you feel we can assist you with your particular problem, whether you are a lawyer, developer, contractor or consultant, we shall be pleased to hear from you.