In days gone by, it seems that:
- Buildings and engineering works were less complicated, of conventional design,
and required less specialized sub-contract work.ĘThe contracts were for relatively
less money, and of shorter durations.
- Profit margins were higher, with even a few dollars put away for contingencies.
- Relationships between the owner, architect or engineers and the contractor,
as well as between the contractor and his sub-contractors, were much closer
and less formal. May be, if an extra was not allowed on this piece of work,
it could be built into the next.
But market conditions have changed. The state of the economy and high interest
rates  have made building owners much more anxious to hold down original
capital outlay, and avoid additional costs. Revisions have been made to owner-consultant
agreements designed to take control of funds out of the consultant's hands.
Revisions are made to standard contract forms intended to transfer increased
liability to the contractors and sub-contractors, as well as require more onerous
warranties. Stiffer competition prevails for reasons noted earlier.
All of these give rise to a greater possibility for disputes and claims. So
it is prudent to recognize the situation and deal with it in a realistic, positive
and sensible manner. This is much better than trying to brush things under the
carpet until the end of the job - for fear of upsetting the friendly (?) contractual