It can often take time to see whether works have been completed to a satisfactory standard because some faults don't appear immediately. Therefore, the relationship with the contractor does not usually end when work is completed. Most contracts have a defects liability period of at least 12 months, during which time the contractor is responsible for making good any failures in construction and planting. The Engineer to the Contract is often employed to check the works at the end of the defects liability period.
It can be difficult to foresee how a site will work in operation once the site is handed over to the Principal. New sites can attract a lot of users which can cause wear and tear at this particularly vulnerable early stage. The contractor can't be held responsible for any damage of this nature, therefore the Principal will need to consider how the repair of any damage will be funded. This is important to ensure the site is kept in good condition and is respected by users. At the end of the defects liability period, the contractor's role is complete, unless a longer maintenance period is agreed. From this point, maintenance of the site is guided by a site maintenance plan. This should outline the performance expectations of furniture, planting and surface finishes that have been installed. If a management plan exists, this will continue to be the overall guiding document for the site.