One of the most important and least complied with contract provisions is time. Make sure there are adequate delay provisions in contracts for reasons beyond your control. Subcontractors should use the contract documents of The American Institute of Architects (AIA), or insist on a liquidated damages clause if an AIA contract is not used.

Excusable, noncompensable delays include unusually severe weather, lightning, floods, tornadoes, casualties, and sometimes, unforeseen labor disputes. Excusable, compensable delays are those caused by the owner or general contractor such as a delay in notice to proceed, defective specifications and plans, delays in responding to submittals, failure to make timely progress payments, and changes in sites.