Variations – Specialist Flooring Contractors

At a time of decreasing margins it is necessary for specialist flooring contractors to maximise the revenue from their resin flooring projects.

Just about every construction project has variations and it is imperative on specialist flooring contractors to ensure that they get paid their full entitlement.

A contract should have a mechanism for pricing variations, normally it will direct specialist flooring contractors to price the variations at the rates in the Bills of Quantities, where appropriate.

It is the “where appropriate” which is important. The contract is the starting point in deciding if the Bills of Quantities are appropriate for pricing purposes. The JCT contracts state that the contract rates should only be applied, when the work described in the variation when compared with the work described in the contract, is of a similar character, the conditions under which the work is carried out are the same, and there are no significant change in quantities.

This is not a black and white situation, for example a resin floor installed on an open floor space is not the same as a resin floor installed in a staircase area or a confined space.

Undertaking work in an environment with heat, light and controlled conditions cannot be regarded as the same conditions as working in an area with no temperature control or permanent lighting.

Also a significant change in quantities can affect the unit price.

If the variation causes delay, then the delay costs are also recoverable.

However, it is important that specialist flooring contractors are prompt in

  • Identification and notifying the contractor of variations
  • Measurement and valuation of any variations
  • Agreement of contract variations

Variations are often not valued until long after the issue, this has the effect of delays in payment or even worse the avoidance of payment for the work. When the valuation of variations is left until the end of a contract it inevitably results in claims, counterclaims and protracted arguments.

No one likes surprises at the end of the contract so, prompt and accurate information from specialist flooring contractors is essential. This is why good records and close monitoring of a project is not a luxury, but should be an essential part of every specialist flooring contractors’ operations.