What is a variation?
A variation is any changes to the fixed-price contract after it has been signed
Why do they cost & what are the extra costs?
Often with variations it’s not just the actual cost of the item but the management cost off-site that adds to the cost. This includes finding, ordering and scheduling that variation in around a pre-constructed timeline.
A little $200 dollar item can produce hours of work back and forth and in turn, cost you much more.
There are key milestones throughout the entire process where things get signed and sealed. If something is changed after the contract is signed it usually comes with an administrative cost.
There is a time to make changes and that is at the beginning of the design stage. I encourage you to really take your time in this stage and get your vision down on those plans because variations in the later stages can cost a lot of time and money.
For context early on we send our plans out to the plumber, sparky, drain layer and to a quantity surveyor for a takeoff.
This gives us a list of everything down to the nails we are going to use. All these guys spend at least a couple of hours studying your plans to quote the job. These quotes form the basis of your fixed price contract.
Once the fixed price contract is signed that locks in a plan and now any changes means our subcontractors have to step back down with your plans and do the same amount of work that they had previously done again.
We do a lot of work to produce a fixed price contract so a large number of variations can be frustrating for everyone on the team as the work done previously is being redone.
Whenever you ask us about a variation we have to call everyone involved, people like the plumber, designer and supplier. We collect all that information and work out the implications they have on the build.
As we start to make changes there is a higher chance of missing things so what we like to do is group all the changes together and make them after revisions in the design phase.
We understand that you want your home to be just right, and we are passionate about that. However, we are also passionate about doing this in a timely and efficient manner.
Get your vision onto those plans a best you can earlier on because the fewer variations later on in the build the fewer cost implications you will have.