When will I get charged for my variation?

Variations are changes that are made to your contract.  They can be requested by either the Builder or the client (depending on the situation) and generally relate to your specifications.  For example, your contract may include standard profile internal doors but you’ve seen a barn door that you absolutely “must have!”.  When you request a variation, your builder will write up a detailed description of what the change is; including any cost/credit that may be applicable.  Both you, as the client, and the Builder then need to sign off on the variation.

If there is a cost involved in making the change, this gets charged to the client at the next progress claim after the works have been completed.  Using the example of the barn door, this would most likely be charged to the client at Practical Completion.  If, for example, you were making a change to the brickwork, this would then be charged at the Brickwork Complete progress claim stage.

Sometimes, clients request to have items removed from their specification; in anticipation of doing this work themselves after handover.  This sometime results in a credit (money owed back) to the client.  Again, this credit may be applied once that stage of works is complete.  However, if your builder uses a HIA Lump Sum Contract, credit amounts do not need to be refunded until Practical Completion.

Also, keep in mind that the Builder does not have to accept a request for variation from the client.  This may happen for a couple of reasons including that it’s too late in the build to make the change (ie – materials have already been ordered) or that the change is just not possible due to regulations etc.

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