Contractors: When to say No to Owners

Saleh A. Mubarak, Ph.D

Saleh A. Mubarak, Ph.D

Professor of civil engineering/construction management, the international authority in project controls, trainer; consultant; and public speaker, an author of two best-selling books in construction management with over 30 years of diversified experience. An authority on project planning, scheduling, and project control. Extensive experience in...
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90 Mins
Saleh A. Mubarak, Ph.D

Contractors have to deal with several parties, most importantly the owner. There is a variety of owners in terms of type, personality, and other. It is true that the owner is the “authority” in making decisions pertaining to the project, but there are boundaries such as the law, the contract agreement, professional standards, and the interest of the contractor. In many situations, the contractor feels pressured, embarrassed, or confused how to respond to an order or request by the owner or other contracting parties.

This webinar will shed the light on situations where the contractor must reply decisively. This covers situations where the answer must be no. Of course, in most of these situations, the contractor can so no in an indirect way, offering viable and feasible alternative. This webinar will cover a number of these situations with a focus on the relationship between the contractor and the owner. It draws the line between the acceptable, the unacceptable, and the “grey area.” It dissects different scenarios along with suggested solutions.

Webinar Objectives

Many of us face situations when they have to say no but can’t. Perhaps because there is pressure on them, they don’t realize the consequences, embarrassed, intimidated, or just feel “it will be okay.” This webinar outlines two things:

  • Clarifying these situations, and
  • Helping contractors in deciding when and how to say no.

Webinar Agenda

  • Introduction
  • Conditions of Contracts and Contract Award Methods
  • Types of project owners
  • Types of contracts and project delivery methods
  • Risk allocation in contracts
  • Contractor’s involvement
  • Difficult Owners’ Personalities
  • How to Deal with Difficult Owners?
  • The Role of the Project Management Consultant
  • When Would the Contractor / Consultant Say No to the Owner?
    • Unrealistic expectations
    • Too risky
    • Unprofitable situation
    • Illegal / unethical demands
    • Unfair situation
    • Contractor is overloaded
    • Outside the GC expertise or “area of comfort”
    • Owner refuses to make it formal
    • Owner’s interference in work process
    • Owner makes decisions that are not the best choice for the project
    • Owner keeps asking for “little favors”
    • Owner is totally absent from the scene
    • Owner becomes hostile, aggressive, or unfair to the contractor
  • Does No mean No? Possible alternatives to saying no
  • General tips.

Webinar Highlights

  • Brief overview of legal contracts and types of agreements in construction projects
  • Types of owners and impact on the relationship with the contractor
  • Types of owners’ personalities
  • Situations that the contractor must be aware before agreeing to.
  • How to say no in such situations
  • General tips

Who Should Attend

  • Project Managers
  • Construction Management Professionals (Team Members)
  • Planners/Schedulers
  • Cost Estimators (QS)
  • Project Controls Managers
  • Architects/Engineers
  • Owners
To access this webinar, kindly reach out to our customer support team at

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