263. When time is of the essence of the contract.

The expression 'time is of the essence' means that a breach of the condition as to time for performance will entitle the innocent party to treat the breach as a repudiation of the contract, without regard to the magnitude of the breach1, and normally, to claim damages for loss of bargain2. Exceptionally, however, the completion of the work by a specified date may be a condition precedent to the contractor's right to be paid3. Ordinarily time is not of the essence in building contracts. Time may be provided to be of the essence of the contract by the express