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Polymeric Surfaces – Liquidated Damages

Liquidated Damages is a very sensitive issue on all projects and especially when the surfacing being installed is weather dependent. You all find as a surfaces contractor that you are always the last one on the project whether it is for a play area, MUGA court or sports all weather pitch.

Being the last contractor on site usually it always seems to be yourself who tries to get hit with the liquidated charges because it is only yourself that is needed to complete the works (but the contractor never remembers why this project has ran over) and just blames the last one on site for some reason. Hence the reason so many surfacing contractors and companies have gone bust and bankrupt. At soft surfaces we are proud at the fact we have been established 15 years and still with the same name because so many competitors we have seem go by the away side. The downside to this is that they set back up under a different name and keep all their existing custom and are able to carry on trading with all previous guarantees scrapped and worthless.

However back onto the blog article is that a big reason for this is liquidated damages and I feel I need to mention this because at soft surfaces we will not be held responsible for any of these charges as our surfaces are weather dependent and with the adverse weather conditions we will have days put back on the schedules because of this. You seem to get main contractors saying right ok well ‘The  liquidated damages is mainly if all the weather conditions were perfect’ but please explain to me what is perfect I tend to ask them because its not when you look outside whether its raining or not. The reason being if a talk about the colour coating element :

  • We need the surface to be totally dry so a few days prior to site it being perfectly dry also
  • We need the forecast to say its dry because even though it physically might look dry outside if it has a sudden downpour all materials are washed away
  • We need the right humidity in the air because it is a moisture cure material
  • We also need little wind because it is applied by airless spray and too windy means we cant spray the system
Basically in a nutshell it is a nightmare for our installers in the UK because of weather conditions but because of this we know when exactly is the right day to install the materials. Being established 15 years we have learnt not to be held ransom by the client in carrying out the works and basically have a rule where we will hold no responsibility for liquidated damages unless they are willing to sign the project off saying they will underwrite the finished surface with a disclaimer from ourself saying it wasnt laid in suitable conditions and hold no responsibility for this. However im hoping all contractors wouldnt dare risk this!!



About the author

Director at Soft Surfaces Ltd which constructs artificial sports pitches and play areas throughout the UK. Sports enthusiast who plays football regularly and co-founder of @FatRank which helps others with SEO, PPC, WordPress and Specialist Web Marketing.

James Dooley – who has written posts on Sports and Safety Surfaces.


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