A nice article by Charlie Laing on Project Management at:
They talk about a Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) contract between builder(s) and client. Going through it and both signing it, so that there is a pre established way to control the work and exchange of money that is fair to all.
For changes during the project, their advice is that:
- contract changes can only be made by the project manager / contract administrator (which should not be the client).
- the builder should quote for the changes
- the contract manager uses this to get client approval. If given, passes this on to the builder.
As I’ve read elsewhere, informal approval changes from the client is the most common area for problems when the consequent bill for this arrives.
A Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) contract, brings with it an agreed adjudication / arbitration route, but in most cases, a common sense, sit down and come to an agreement solution is best. Here the contract manager can mediate.
For this, Charlie Laing have some suggested questions to cover the conversation over what is being claimed. Is / was it:
- described within the contract?
- described as a revision to the contract and the contract sum?
– if yes, was it requested, quoted for and approved?
- related to completed work? Is there any evidence that it has been done?
- related to work that the contractor had to redo through no fault of his own?
- requested directly by the client?
- raised by the contractor to the client directly as an option that they may choose?
- clearly confirmed by the contractor to the client as being at extra cost?
- carried out with an element of risk by the contractor through not following procedure?
- in line with market rates for materials and labour time used
- related to the actual labour time used
In light of the answers to the above, is full payment of the claim considered fair and reasonable?
This all re-enforces the idea I’ve read elsewhere abut keeping a site / project diary. ie keeping your own notes and other records.