Variations... Every Home Owner's Nightmare

What is the most common issue with every build?

Sorting the variations out; finding common ground between you and your building contractor.

Over the next few weeks I will do some short blog posts on different scenarios relating to variation claims and payment and methods to deal with them. So if you're about to sign a contract, in the middle of a contract, or have been bitten before... stay tuned.

A summary...

Whilst not good practice, it is not uncommon for a smaller builder to leave all variation adjustments to be claimed somewhere near their final payment. This can bring with it a lot of angst from both parties. The builder is struggling to find invoices to prove the variations worth, the sub-trades are long gone and the home owner cant see the value in the invoice they have been presented with!

Within the contract you sign before you start building, there should be sections and clauses to deal with the three main areas of variation. These are;

1. Variations ordered by the builder or client,

2. Prime Cost variations and;

3. Provisional Sum variations.

All three have slightly different guidelines and clauses in standardised contracts from industry bodies such as the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and the MBA (Master Builders Association). If the building company your dealing with has their own contract template, it may not have all or any suitable guidelines or clauses outlined in it.

Look out for our next four blog posts which will cover the three different types of variation in three posts, then the traps to be mindful of and ways of dealing with issues in the fourth.

I hope to shed some light on the topic and equip you with the knowledge to be confident in your contract. Saving you a lot of money, and a few unecessary headaches along the way!

- JA