‘Thickening’ Of Preliminary Items
It is generally accepted that, in a situation where a contractor is entitled to an extension of time, he is also entitled to claim for time-related costs for site overheads and head office running costs for the additional time that he was obliged to remain on site.
This is based upon a fundamental principle of law, that a party who has been prevented from performing his obligations by the other party, is entitled to compensation to put him back into the position that he would have been had the act of prevention not occurred.
In construction terms, this usually means the reimbursement of the contractor’s costs for the extended time in providing site management, site establishment, plant and equipment, insurances, additional financing costs head office costs and the like, which are usually priced in the preliminaries section of the bill of quantities.
Are there situations that a contractor may legitimately claim for additional resources, as opposed to the existing resources being deployed for an extended period? Well yes there are and this is known as ‘thickening’.
The Institute of Construction Claims Practitioners has a detailed paper on this subject.
To request a copy, please send an email with your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Preliminaries” in the subject line.