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CaseLaw
CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1290
Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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I would like to clarify issues with regards ***** ***** orders

Customer Question

I would like to clarify issues with regards ***** ***** orders in residential construction. My understanding is that any proposed change on site needs to be quoted for by the contractor and authorised in writing by the client before the contractor can add this to a variation order, in order for the client to be able to manage the overall project costs. Is this correct, or can the contractor at the end of the project surprise the client with a significant variation order?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 1 year ago.
Hi there and thank you for your question,No, you are correct in your understanding. Typically a variation order will come about as a result of the client wanting to change something. The client will instruct the builder/contractor to quote for the variation, and the contractor will quote. The client can then accept the quote, or reject it. Variation orders are at the instance of the client, not the contractor.If however the contractor comes to the client and says "there's something wrong here, and you'll need to vary it", then the client will do the same thing and instruct the builder/contractor to quote for the variation, the contractor will quote, and the client can then accept the quote, or reject it.The contractor can't just come along at the end with a list of variations and costs without approval by the client. If my answer hasn't answered all of your questions, please send me a REPLY with follow up questions so that I can continue to assist you in this same thread for as long as you need. Let me know if you need more advice - don't just rate my answer as "bad".If my are HAPPY with my answer then please click one of the SMILEY FACES to rate my answer and then click the GREEN ACCEPT button to accept the answer.Good luck and best regards,CaseLawPlease note: This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult a local attorney in person for legal advice. This information is being provided so you can better discuss legal matters with your attorney.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. So, we are about 60% through construction and have been receiving 3 variation orders to date with items on it that I know have been discussed as minor changes but have never been quoted for. The contractor mentioned in fact that on any build there are "swings and roundabouts" and that he will let me know when there is an issue. As I did not want to create a scene and have a builder walk off site, I've paid those items, but with this last order we are running close to R50K and I can simply not afford this. Can I still challenge the ones I paid and what do I do if the builder walks off site?
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 1 year ago.
"Swings and Roundabouts" is your builders way of saying "you give me some money, and I'll do some work for you!"You need to put the builder to terms. Advise him that you don't have sufficient funds to proceed with any further variation orders, and he needs to have them approved by you. He needs to quote for the variation orders otherwise you won't pay. Put it in writing, but don't make a scene about it! It is difficult to challenge something that you've already paid for. If you had paid it "under protest", then you would stand a better chance. But to argue about something that you've already paid and (to a certain degree) accepted, is a losing fight!If my are HAPPY with my answer then please click one of the SMILEY FACES to rate my answer and then click the GREEN ACCEPT button to accept the answer.Good luck and best regards,CaseLawPlease note: This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult a local attorney in person for legal advice. This information is being provided so you can better discuss legal matters with your attorney.
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 1 year ago.
Hi there again,
I hope that you understood the above advice and that it was useful? Please leave positive feedback for me.
If you have a further question please ask it?
Regards
CaseLaw