“Variations” is a term used in construction to describe project alterations or changes that may be requested or required during a build. For example, it might be that you’ve decided to install hydronic heating after talking with friends or you’ve decided you want to add solar panels for a more sustainable build. As much as you’ve tried to think of everything prior to construction, there are thousands of items to consider before signing a contract and “variations” do happen. We’ve seen many of them before and have fine-tuned our process in working transparently with you to ensure you understand any additional costs and what effect they might have to the critical build path.
Variations may be requested by us as a rare result of unforeseen circumstances (we start demolition and find that there is an old swimming pool under the lawn in the backyard). Our goal is to aim for a build without variation wherever possible through careful planning, and if they do occur, we make sure the process is stress-free for all parties.
Variations are much easier when the owner, builder and architect have clear and open channels of communication established from the outset. Sometimes potential variations are avoided thanks to discussion and careful specifications in the planning stages of a project prior to building. We wrote an article about Negotiated Tenders recently and it’s another way where working with your builder from the start, you can go through many things along the journey.
If changes are needed, a quality builder/architect relationship helps ensure an exceptional outcome is agreed upon as soon as possible. That’s why my team at TCON is always committed to helping you find innovative solutions to ensure we deliver a high-end architectural home.
CLEAR AND SPECIFIC COSTING
Alterations or changes that are requested sooner rather than later, make for an easier process, as it allows us to adapt any scheduling adjustments as soon as possible for all involved. Your build is typically a fixed price contract and will always allow for variations, but these will always have your approval in a fixed cost before any of the works begin. This is the safest form of security for you so that you’ll always understand where your project expenditure is sitting.
Our team will provide detailed quotes clarifying the impact of requested changes on your project overall cost, and if we think the build will have an extension of time, we will let you know. This allows you to make an informed decision, and all agreed variations are clearly documented and signed by all parties.
A builder solves problems on a daily basis and a great builder will work seamlessly with the clients and architects on these key decisions that pop up during the build. When we hit a problem, we will always come forward with a solution that is worked in collaboration with our architects and clients.
Sometimes a variation occurs through a problem, but a great team will work through it to ensure when it’s unforeseen it gets dealt with quickly and cost effectively for all parties. We often bring our contractors into the conversation for each one to ensure the best result.
Variations lead to disputes, only when builders do not follow recommended procedures or if what is considered a variation is vague. Verbal variation agreements are also unreliable, and we will always call the client, explain the variation and then send the formality via email. This is essential for all parties so that it’s clear what the change to the contract will be.
If a variation request cannot be met, we clearly explain the issue and work towards an alternate resolution. It’s a rare occurrence that we can’t make something work for a client and we will always do our best to ensure once you move in you’ve got the house you wanted from the beginning.
Our expert advice is always at your disposal. By locking down every small detail from the outset, the chance of variations will be greatly reduced. If variations are needed, together we’ll make sure the modifications are seamlessly integrated into your project.
Situations change, and we know the client can’t consider every item in the early stages, but we will always do our best to talk through any emerging worries or concerns. Whether a variation is a result of a request from owner, builder or even local council, TCON will pinpoint a successful outcome.