What is a Construction Claim? Answers from an Expert

Construction claims are defined as the failure to fulfill obligations of a contract by either party. The injured party (claimant) gives a notice for breach of the contract to the defending party (defendant) specifying the nature of the breach. Section 15.1 of the American Institute of Architects requires all construction contracts to outline the requirements of notice to submit a claim either for money or for time.

According to Lyle Charles Consulting, the purpose of the notice is to notify all parties to be aware and mitigate the effects of the breach causing the claim. An evaluation of the claim is also conducted to determine the quantum in monetary value for breach of the contract.

Construction claims address a variety of different readers, allowing the claimant to present the claim in a similar manner as it would be presented and proved in court. The construction claim preparation process requires presentation of professional claim documents logically arranged into subheadings. The process commences with an introduction giving the background details of the contract. The claimant then explains the basis of the claim stating if it is a claim for damages or loss resulting from the breach of the terms of the contract. The claimant is also supposed to explain into details the causes and effects of the delay on the project.

A large volume of documentation such as correspondences, photographs and video used to substantiate the case, usually backs a well-prepared claim. Since the burden of proof lies on the claimant, all supporting documentation must be provided. The claim is then presented to the Engineer or main Contractor for better settlements.