How to Write an Extension of Time Notice

Jackson Row
Jackson Row
May 24, 2024
How to Write an Extension of Time Notice

Delays are the uninvited guests that nobody wants. They throw schedules into disarray, blow budgets wide open, and leave everyone scrambling. From the project manager juggling a million tasks to the project owner anxiously eyeing the bottom line, the stress of unexpected setbacks can be overwhelming.

But whether it's a freak storm that floods the site, a global pandemic that disrupts the supply chain, or those unforeseen site conditions that always seem to lurk beneath the surface, there's one artifact every project manager and owner needs to be proficient in understanding: the Extension of Time (EOT) Notice.

What is an Extension of Time (EOT) Notice?

An Extension of Time (EOT) Notice is a formal request that a contractor submits to the project owner and project manager. This request, made according to the terms of the contract, asks for additional time to complete the project due to delays caused by events outside the contractor's control.

The purpose of the EOT Notice is to seek extra time without facing penalties like liquidated damages. Most contracts have specific deadlines for submitting an EOT Notice, so it's essential to act quickly when delays occur.

How to Write an Extension of Time Notice: An EOT is a time-sensitive process and must be done within a specified timeframe.
An EOT is a time-sensitive process and must be done within a specified timeframe.

When to Submit an Extension of Time Notice

Submitting an Extension of Time Notice is a time-sensitive process and must be submitted within a specified timeframe outlined within the contract. This ensures that the contractor avoids losing the right to claim additional time. Typically outlined within the contract, there are several scenarios whereby an EOT Notice may be warranted, such as:

  • Force Majeure Events: Natural disasters, strikes, or acts of terrorism.
  • Client-Caused Delays: Delayed approvals, design changes, or late access to the site.
  • Third-Party Delays: Subcontractor failures or supply chain disruptions.
  • Unforeseen Conditions: Hazardous material discoveries or archaeological finds.

Key Elements of an Extension of Time Notice

An Extension of Time (EOT) Notice should contain specific details that justify the extension request and provide clarity. The notice will need to include the following:

  1. Identification of the Contract Clause: Reference the specific clause allowing for an Extension of Time, demonstrating the contractual basis for your claim.  
  1. Description of the Delay Event: Provide comprehensive details about the cause, nature, and timing of the delay, establishing a clear link between the event and the project's timeline.
  1. Impact on Project Timeline: Analyze how the delay affects the project's critical path and completion date, quantifying the impact in days or weeks.  
  1. Revised Project Completion Date: Propose a new, realistic completion date based on the delay assessment.
  1. Supporting Documentation: Attach evidence like photographs, weather reports, or correspondence to substantiate your claim. Additionally, outline any mitigation measures taken to minimize the delay.  

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Write an EOT Notice

1. Review the Contract  

Carefully examine the contractual requirements for submitting an Extension of Time Notice, including the validity and entitlement to claim and the timeframe of formal submission of the notice itself.

2. Describe the Delay Event  

Provide a detailed description of the delay event, including the type of delay (e.g., force majeure, client-caused), the date of the occurrence, and a detailed account of the event's impact on the project.

3. Assess the Schedule Impact  

Analyze how the event affects the critical path and quantify the delay in days.

4. Propose a New Completion Date  

Suggest a realistic and achievable new completion date that aligns with the assessed delay period.

5. List Mitigation Efforts  

Describe the steps taken to minimize the delay.

6. Compile Supporting Evidence  

Attach relevant documentation such as photos, reports, or emails substantiating your claim.

7. Draft the Notice  

Use clear, professional language while ensuring the notice complies with the contractual requirements.

8. Submit Promptly  

Send the notice to the project owner and/or project manager within the required timeframe for submission.

How to Write an Extension of Time Notice: A photo of an unfinished construction site.
Don't despair in times of construction delays. A well-written and well-prepared EOT can be your ticket to capital project success.

Best Practices for Writing an Extension of Time Notice

Be Proactive

Submit the notice as soon as the delay event occurs to provide early warning to the project owner and project manager. This will go a long way towards maintaining a positive working relationship. Always comply with contractual deadlines for submitting the EOT Notice. Most contracts outline specific timelines for notifying people of delays experienced.

Keep it Professional

Focus on the facts, avoiding assigning blame directly in the notice. A neutral tone will assist with maintaining a professional relationship with the project owner and project manager. Write in clear, concise language, avoiding jargon where possible. Ensure the notice is straightforward and easily interpreted.

Document Everything

Maintain comprehensive records of delay events, mitigation measures, and correspondence with the client/project owner and project manager. Provide verifiable evidence to support the Extension of Time Claim. This could include photographs, reports, weather data, and email correspondence.

Seek Specialist Advice

If there is any uncertainty about the contractual obligations or potential disputes, consult a legal professional or contract specialist to review the Extension of Time Claim before submission. Engage scheduling consultants to analyze the impact of the project's schedule and produce accurate delay assessments.

Follow Up and Communicate

After submitting the notice, follow up with the client/project owner and project manager to ensure receipt of the submission and the review. Maintain regular communication with the project owner and project manager throughout the delay event and extension process.


Delays in a capital project are almost always a given, but it doesn't have to derail your project. A well-crafted EOT Notice can protect your project from the unexpected – including your timeline and reputation. It's a tool for clear communication, proactive problem-solving, and project success.

So, don't wait for the storm clouds to gather. Take the initiative now to understand your contract, prepare your documentation, and master the art of the EOT Notice. By being prepared, you're not just managing risks – you're taking control of your project's success.

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