Variations are changes to the original contracted work, which involve either an addition or reduction to the scope or value of work.

Both parties must agree to any variations in writing before the work begins, unless the work is urgent and it isn’t practical to wait for a variation document. Generally, you should receive the variation document within five business days of agreeing to the variation.

Before instigating or agreeing to any variations, talk to your builder directly (not their subcontractors) and discuss whether there will be any additional costs.

Extensions of time

If there is significant variation to the scope of works in your contract or delays caused by inclement weather it can result in your home taking longer to complete than originally specified.

If an agreed variation is expected to take more time, the builder will issue an extension of time form, which requests your permission to extend the contract period to accommodate the variation.

Reasons for extensions of time should be set out in the general conditions of your contract. You should read them very carefully to familiarise yourself with what specific reasons allow the builder an extension of time.

Inclement weather

Inclement weather refers to rain or abnormal climatic conditions. This type of weather can delay work and extend the time taken to complete the build.

As inclement weather is out of a builder’s control, an allowance is generally factored into every residential building contract. This means the contract completion date can be pushed out by a set number of days if inclement weather has prevented work taking place.

If the builder needs to claim more inclement weather days than were allocated in the contract, they’ll need to provide evidence that the allocated days were used up.

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