This research describes the managerial approaches that contractors follow to determine different types of contingencies in construction project management. Two large Spanish general contractors were selected for an in-depth analysis. Interviews and surveys were conducted with six additional companies to explore the external validity of the findings. Managers constrain time and cost buffers through project objectives, applying heuristics to determine inventory buffers. The management of capacity buffers is entrusted to subcontractors. The contractors take advantage of scope and quality buffers to meet project objectives but rarely share these buffers with the owner, unless the owner is an internal client.