De-escalating The Impact of Price Escalation

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If parties execute these steps, they can work together towards that common goal through de-escalating the impact of price escalation.

August 10, 2021
Brian C. Padove - ConsensusDocs

What happens when construction material prices abruptly rise by 15%, 35%, 50%? Moreover, what happens to a construction project when such volatility occurs? While there is no definite answer, delays in procuring such materials and associated cost overruns will likely impact the construction project. The last 15 months contractors have had to work through extraordinary construction material price increases, such as a 90% price increase for lumber from April 2020 to April 2021. While there is no statistic quantifying the impact these increases have had on the construction industry, the increases surely have had an influence, whether it has been through lost profits, delays, or damage to contractors’ otherwise strong reputation for timely performance.

Considerations Prior To Contract Execution

The first way to mitigate price escalation is identifying materials most susceptible to price volatility during the bidding process and then having an open discussion with upstream parties regarding the potential price volatility. Additionally, the bid may also include either (1) an allowance for the materials providing additional funds, if necessary, should the material price increase, or (2) a shortened timeframe in which the bid is open, which would lessen the time in which a price shift may occur.

Mr. Padove may be contacted at


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