and why you should avoid them.
Contract variations refer to changes made to the scope of work outlined in an original construction or interior fitout contract. These changes can result from unexpected conditions on the project site, changes in client requirements, or disagreements between parties. Contract variations can increase project costs, delay completion dates, and affect the overall quality of the project. For these reasons, they should be avoided whenever possible, as they can lead to disputes and extra costs, thus negatively impacting the project.
In a competitive construction market where price is often a determining factor, less scrupulous operators may be tempted to lower the price of a project to win the work, with the intention to make up the true contract value in the form of variations.
This method, known in the industry as “lowball and sting” can be devastating on the client/contractor relationship.
The variations may well be justified, but their deliberate omission in the original pricing creates a level of distrust that lingers long after a project is completed.
Medifit Design and Construction has a reputation for having one of the lowest levels of contract variations in the industry, which is a testament to the company's commitment to delivering projects efficiently and effectively. This is achieved through a combination of factors, including: Detailed planning: ensure that the construction or interior fitout project is thoroughly planned, with all aspects of the work carefully considered and detailed in the contract. This helps to minimize the chances of variations being required.
Good communication: open and regular communication with clients, ensuring that any changes or issues are addressed promptly and effectively. This helps to prevent misunderstandings and reduces the likelihood of variations being needed. Experienced personnel: experienced personnel are skilled in their respective fields, and are able to effectively manage any challenges that may arise during a project. This results in a lower need for variations, as well as a higher quality of work.
Flexible approach: a flexible approach to project delivery allows for changes to be made when necessary, whilst minimising the impact of such changes on the project. This helps to keep costs and delays to a minimum. Integrity in practice design and construction starts with being honest up front about project costs. Given the realistic project costs, you are able to make an informed decision and plan accordingly to meet your practice goals. With the lowball approach, what initially appears to be a great deal can result in a variation fuelled nightmare, a breakdown in the client relationship and unnecessary added stress to what is already a major career endeavour for most dentists and specialists.
Over 20 years in business, and through hundreds of projects ranging from simple interior fitouts to complex architectural developments, Medifit has never issued a contract variation outside of client directed changes to scope. This extraordinary low level of contract variations has been achieved through a combination of detailed planning, effective communication, experienced personnel, and a flexible approach to design and delivery.
The end result is a higher quality of work, as well as a lower risk of disputes and cost overruns, which are all key benefits for our clients.
Medifit National Marketing & Business Development Manager
0414 431 010