An extension of time (EOT) is a provision in most standard forms of contract, for an amendment of the scheduled Practical Completion date due to unforeseen circumstances and it is usually requested by the main Contractor.
Such circumstances can include but are not limited to:
- Adverse weather conditions
- Acts of terrorism
- Force majeure
- Instructions for work variations.
One of the primary purposes of extension of time clauses in contracts is to preserve the effectiveness of the liquidated damages provisions for the benefit of the employer. A successful claim for extension of time would not necessarily give way to a successful claim for loss and expense.
Standard forms of construction contracts contain extension of time clauses, setting out the criteria on how extensions of time will be awarded. A bespoke contract or one in general that does not contain any provision relating to extension of time, would therefore have no mechanism for adjusting the completion date, if delays caused by the employer affect completion and the employer could lose his right to deduct liquidated damages in the event of further delay through the fault of the contractor.