Understanding Implied Obligations in the Construction Contract

Association of Construction and Development
September 29, 2012 — 1,761 views  

Understanding Implied Obligations

Before construction work begins, a contract outlining the complete construction project is submitted. This usually contains the scope of work that provides details of the entire construction project. This is usually followed by an outline of work to be provided by the construction contractor, an outline of work provided by owner or client, terms of payment and standard terms and conditions. Within each of these sections of a construction proposal lies several implied obligations. Implied obligations serve both client and contracting company. It offers each party to the contract a measure of understanding of designations of contract responsibilities and obligations. In a contractual agreement, it's necessary to define responsibilities and obligations of all parties to the agreement.

Implied Obligations of the Construction Contractor

Within the outline of contract work to be provided by construction contractors, certain "implied" obligations might include the following:

  • Additions or modifications of contracted work as approved by the client
  • Insuring all equipment used by construction crews is certified for safety
  • Maintaining records of man-hours, labor and payroll taxes
  • Compliance with standard regulations for worker safety
  • Compliance with standard site safety regulations during work performance
  • Additional hiring as needed to complete the project 

Implied Obligations of the Owner/Client in Construction Contracts

A construction contract may include the following implied obligations of the owner/client to the construction vendor and crew:

  • Free and unobstructed access to the work site
  • Electrical, water and utility connections the contractor's field crew may need to operate equipment
  • Exemptions from liabilities for existing safety issues related to property where work is performed
  • Exemptions from responsibilities for local, state and federal regulatory permits of the property owner
  • Extraneous materials required to complete construction not specified in the contract
  • Clean up and disposal of construction materials to designated landfills via specified transport

Terms of the Construction Contract and Implied Obligations

In a construction contract, every detail of the construction project is clearly specified. Implied obligations exist for the initiator of the construction contract as well as the contractor. For example, it may be an implied obligation of the construction contractor to engage a forklift to move large bundles of construction materials. This also applies to cranes, man lifts, bulldozers and trucks to transport uprooted trees and other debris before construction begins. This depends on the specified terms of the contract agreed upon between client and contractor and the actual work site condition.

Association of Construction and Development