top of page

Why are Late Payments the Norm in Construction?

There are some things so ubiquitous that we just assume they must always go together - peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, wine and cheese, but how about late payments and construction? Unfortunately, these two words also seem to be uttered in the same breath all too often.

Securing timely payments for construction work can be one of the most frustrating aspects of the job, and if this is an issue you face, you’re not alone. The construction industry as a whole faces many challenges in being able to secure prompt payment from their clients.

Below we share a few reasons why late payments have become the norm for contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and other construction stakeholders.

3 Reasons Why Contractors Must Deal with Late Payments

Payment delays are commonplace in construction, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something about it. Collecting payment on an overdue invoice requires persistence and, at times, legal action. Maybe the client is grumpy about an issue or has truly run into financial trouble. Regardless, you deserve to get paid for your work.

Here are some other causes for delayed payments that Miami GCs face.

The industry’s payment structure - Construction work operates like a hierarchy. You have those at the top who want to make sure their needs are met first (i.e., they’re paid for their work). Then the payment chain flows down from there. The farther down you go, the more delayed payments are likely to be.

Miscommunication - Another reason for delayed payments is communication issues. There are numerous stakeholders in any construction project and constant moving parts. It’s not surprising miscommunication abounds, and anytime there are communication issues, there are likely to be conflicts. Those conflicts at times lead to payment disputes. Disputes lead to delays, and so on. It’s all a chain reaction.

Unrealistic expectations made during the bidding process - Lastly, the competitive bidding process contractors enter into is ripe for setting up tensions. In order to win a project, contractors must take on risk and make predictions about work they haven’t yet started. Clients have their own set of expectations, and they don’t always align with a contractor’s reality. Conflict about project deliverables, timelines and costs can lead to conflict and payment delays.

All that said, just because late payments are the norm in construction doesn’t mean you should stand for it. Stay on top of your clients to ensure there are no payment delays, and if you need to retain a Florida construction attorney to track down an overdue payment or pursue construction litigation, contact us at Quintana Law, PA.


bottom of page