The Best Laid Plans: Contingency in a Construction Contract

Businesswoman signing document

Contractor contingency funds are a project essential.

September 13, 2021
Josh Levy, Katesha Long & Samantha Schacht - Construction Executive

This article is the first of a three-part series on contingencies in construction contracts. This series will explain:

  • what a construction contingency is;
  • the two primary schools of thought regarding how a construction contingency fund should be used and managed; and
  • construction contract drafting considerations for contingency clauses.

Armed with this information, owners and contractors will be better equipped to tackle the inevitable project surprises.

Life is full of surprises, some good and some not too good. Surprises during construction are seldom welcome events. However, experienced owners and contractors know to expect the unexpected and plan accordingly by including contingency funds in their budgets. For them, the question is not whether or not to include a contingency, but how much to set aside and how to structure and manage the fund.

Reprinted courtesy of Josh Levy, Katesha Long & Samantha Schacht, Construction Executive, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. All rights reserved.

Ms. Schacht may be contacted at
Ms. Long may be contacted at


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