Who invented the construction industry payment schedule?
Since I was about 19 years old I have been part of this industry in many segments as a student, laborer, designer, estimator and small business owner. In those forty years I have learned a great deal from many smart and industrious people. But the one thing that was never fully explained to me was the industry payment standards and what possible benefit it served in delivering a final product on time. For those who are not familiar it goes something like this: the subcontractor begins work (say on the first of the month) and then bills for work complete at the end of that month. The bill is presented to the owner who (with any luck) pays the contractor in about 30 days. The contractor then pays the subcontractor about 15 days later and holds 10% for warranty purposes. So there you have it. You provided 75 days of labor or 9 payroll periods and you received 90% of your invoice amount on a job you priced with a 10%margin! How does this move a project toward a completion date that in most cases has a suspect schedule?