Most construction projects will change and vary from the works that were originally priced. There will be unexpected construction delays and problems.
Variations and changes occur for many different reasons, and not all of them entitle the Contractor to a claim.
Contractors that don’t claim variations or change orders they are entitled to claim will incur costs that they did not allow for in their price. Contractors that do not claim delays they are entitled to claim could finish the project late and be penalised by the Client.
Regrettably some construction projects end in long, expensive, and bitter disputes over the validity of variation claims and change orders. But, it does not have to be this way.
I have been involved with over 120 construction projects. I submitted variation claims or change orders on almost all of these projects. Some projects nearly doubled in value and some projects increased in time by up to 80%.
I settled all change orders amicably with the Client, except two projects. One had a dispute adjudication board on the project and this was used to resolve the issue. One project we employed a lawyer and declared a dispute because the Client did not respond to our claims.
I got most of the time and money I claimed. And, importantly we did further projects with most Clients, so our reputation was not tarnished with these change orders.
It is possible to submit and agree variation claims and change orders amicably without upsetting Clients.
Preparing, submitting, and negotiating variation claims and change orders is something that contractors often do badly. It's a topic close to my heart, and something I've written several articles about, which I reference below. I've also written an easy to read guide for contractors: Construction Claims: A Short Guide for Contractors.
Below are 15 simple rules to help you successfully deal with variations and changes on your construction project.
15 Rules for dealing with construction variations and delays
Winning Construction Change Orders
It is possible to amicably agree change orders with Clients by following these 15 rules. Contractors are entitled to claim for legitimate changes and delays which they could not reasonably have foreseen or allowed for. Change orders should not end in disputes.
#constructionclaims #constructioncontracts #constructionlaw
Other useful articles
Don’t start construction projects without a proper contract.
Can I Claim for Additional Time on My Construction Project?
Information in this article is from the author's book ‘Construction Claims: A Short Guide for Contractors’.
© 2021 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
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