When is retainage released?



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    Gang Chen

    No, the answer is NOT “It depends.” Final payment including retainage can be released for work performed (if the owner agrees to it and with consent of the surety) after certificate of substantial completion.

    Gang Chen, Author, Architect, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Smruti Keshani

    See AIA A201 9.8.5. When the Certification of Substantial Completion gets issued, retainage is released for all or a portion of the Work. What portion? The portion that has been completed and is in accordance with requirements of the Docs. 

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    Aspen Thorstenson

    retainage gets released at final completion. This keeps them motivated to complete the final tasks, like paint touch up, that they would not be motivated to come finish otherwise. It's a bigger paycheck for doing all last minute items instead of skimping out.

    The retainage would be due at "substantial or final" if the owner were to not move in early, as these would be the same timeframe.

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    Kevin Griendling

    Aspen (and all reading this thread later), a point of clarification. "Retainage" is released at substantial completion. Regardless whether or not it coincides with final completion. The amount retained that you are speaking of is the "[adjustment] for the Work that is incomplete or not in accordance with the requirements of the Contract Documents." (per AIA A201-2017 section 9.8.5) Essentially, this is an amount roughly equal to the value of the remaining work on the punch list.


    Hope this helps,


    Kevin Griendling, AIA



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