A construction contract is an agreement between a client and a contractor that outlines the terms and conditions of a building project. However, despite the best efforts of both parties to make the contract as detailed and comprehensive as possible, variations can still happen. Variations are changes to the original contract’s terms and conditions, and they can be caused by several factors.
1. Scope Creep: This is a common cause of variation in construction contracts. It occurs when the scope of the project changes beyond the original agreement. For example, if a client decides to add an extra room to the house after the construction has started, this will lead to a variation in the contract. Scope creep can be prevented by ensuring that the original contract is comprehensive and detailed enough to cover any potential changes.
2. Design Changes: Changes in design can also cause variations to a construction contract. If a client changes their mind about certain design aspects, such as the type of flooring or the color of the walls, this will require a variation. To avoid this, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the design requirements before starting the construction process.
3. Material Changes: Materials are a crucial component of any building project, and changes in material choices can lead to variations in the contract. If a client decides to use a different type of material than what was agreed upon, this will require a variation to the contract. To avoid this, it’s important to have a comprehensive list of materials and their specifications in the contract.
4. Unforeseen Circumstances: Variations can also be caused by unforeseen circumstances, such as weather conditions or unexpected site conditions. For example, if the construction site is found to have unstable soil, this will require a variation to the original contract. To prevent this, it’s important to conduct a thorough site assessment before starting any construction work.
5. Legal or Regulatory Changes: Changes in local or national laws and regulations can also cause variations to a construction contract. For example, if there is a change in building codes, this may require changes to the original agreement. To prevent this, it’s important to stay up-to-date with any relevant legal or regulatory changes.
In conclusion, variations to a construction contract can be caused by a range of factors. To minimize the risk of variations, it’s important to have a comprehensive and detailed contract that covers all potential changes and to conduct thorough site assessments before starting any construction work. By taking these steps, contractors and clients can ensure that their projects run smoothly and that they are protected in case of any unexpected changes.