JCT Minor works further extension of time for variations

I recently acted as CA on a project for roof repairs on a commercial property, executed under JCT Minor Works 2016. After access was in place, I was able to closely inspect the roofs and I identified and instructed additional works. The contractor priced the works and requested and extension of time of 1 week. They also included additional costs for the scaffolding and welfare for the additional week. Under the contract, I granted the extension and approved the additional costs issuing a contract variation.

Later in the contract when additional scaffolding was installed, I identified additional works to the front elevation which were not included in the contract. After discussing with the the contractor they priced for the additional works and said they would be able to complete these within the current programme (including the 1 week extension already granted). I specifically asked the contractor what would be the latest date to give approval, in order for them to still be able to complete the works in the proposed time. They provided a date and the client approval was given within the required time.

In the last week of the programme, it became apparent that the works will not be completed by the new completion date. At that stage the contractor said that they would apply for an extension of time based on the additional works/delay in confirming these and weather. After reviewing this in accordance with the contract, I decided they were not entitled to an extension of time as the weather was not bad, there had been some rain but nothing more than what can be expected in the north of England. In regard to the additional works, there were no new works instructed after the ones mentioned above and the instruction for the additional works was given within the time requested by the contractor. I want to mention that the contractor did not intend to also apply for loss and expense.

As a result, I issued a non-completion certificate and reviewed if the landlord was entitled to liquidated damages as per the contract. The client did not want to apply for liquidated damages and there was no direct loss as the tenant was still trading and no additional professional fees were charged.

In a strict contractual sense, was I wrong for not granting the extension of time?

I think that you were correct not to award the extension of time and the client was sensible in not deducting LAD’s. The deduction of LAD’s can be the catalyst for a dispute and that should always be avoided if at all possible.

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