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  • Writer's picturePeter Searle

Out of sequence work

“We’re doing this back to front”, is the polite version of what you might hear on a site when an activity is being performed out of sequence. Typical examples might be putting in the noggins for light switches in after the plaster board is up, installing drains that have been missed after the floors slab has been cast and going back and plastering reveals, as the windows were not fixed in time. The list is endless, and every specialist trade has got a list of items which regularly go wrong. Because the detail, or item, is installed before the specialist contractor arrives on site, spotting it relies upon the site being well managed overall.

The impact of out of sequence work is likely to cause delay or disruption to a contractor’s output. In the case where the out of sequence work has been caused by someone else then recovery of your costs should be pursued. Furthermore, if the disruption is so significant that it causes a delay to the project and a financial penalty is incurred, you would want to avoid this.

Determining who should pay for the delay or disruption which has been caused is set out in the Delay and Disruption Protocol, written by the Society of Construction Lawyers. They use the terms “cause” and “effect”. The “effect” is out of sequence work. The “cause” could be one of a number of issues e.g. poor performance by another trade, lack of or late information, program errors or late delivery of materials.

The protocol describes how to work out who should pay for the delay or disruption which has been caused. The analysis to determine the responsibility is usually carried out by experts, but they require sound evidence. Collating the evidence can be problematic, which is why PvA Tracker was designed. It allows relevant site records to be collected using a mobile phone.

If you have become involved in a “project from hell” where out of sequence work is occurring regularly then find out how you might recover your costs by booking a demonstration of the app, or take a look at the website

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