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Tech Talk-Variations, the prickley pear.

Tech Talk-Variations, the prickley pear.

Variations can be the most challenging component of a job. They can create real animosity between builder and client if not handled correctly. Some larger project builders will charge hundreds of dollars just to open your file, before making changes or variations. Variations can be an expensive surprise at the end of a job, but there are some ways to minimise your surprise. Here are our tips on how to handle variations on your project.


What are variations? Variations are differences in the initial scope of works that have not been allowed for in the contract. For example, as jobs take shape, it is not uncommon for a client to request an extra window, or a wall to be moved slightly, or another retaining wall to be installed. You might prefer a different tile than has been allowed for, or would like to change the tap wear. Variations cover anything and everything that is requested after the contract.

* There is generally some forms of variation on a project. Your construction budget should allow for a contingency factor just in case.

* Keep in mind that variations involve an extension of time. Each variation is obviously an unknown at the time of signing the contract and the initial plan of how the job will run, therefor it will involve an extension of time to carry out. Depending on the scope of the variation, the time it takes will have to be allowed for.

* All variations must be singed off on by the client and builder. This document must include a price and time allowance. Signing off on the variations, allows transparency, keeps the communication clear, and keeps difficulties to a minimum.

Legally your builder does not have to agree to any variation from the contract. You have a contract with the builder to do that said work and nothing else. However, a flexible builder will work with you and do most variations for you. This flexibility will strengthen your relationship with your builder so long as you are understanding about the fact that it will take longer as the builder has not allowed for the extra time in the initial contract to do the extra work. As always, communication is the most important part of any building experience.

Have you built before? Did you encounter any variations? Was it a pleasant experience?

Nicole xxx



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  1. I’m a huge fan of Grand Designs and there are always variations. They’re always awesome but always expensive. I would love to build the house of my dreams but really don’t think I’ve got the nerves for it. Plus, I change my mind like the wind, so I’d be the Queen of Variations which could prove to be interesting but costly!

    1. They can be so terribly costly Sammie, but you can do it!! xx

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