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Claiming variations – comply with the procedure set out in your building contract


Members are reminded to comply with their obligations under the contract during the course of the construction, in particular, when claiming a variation under the contract. It is important for the builder to identify any work that might be considered a variation before it is undertaken.

Builders may not be entitled to any variations, but variations that are prescribed under the contract. Builders who use the MBA ACT Lump Sum Residential Building Contract, are entitled to claim variation in the following circumstances:

  1. extras or omissions;
  2. additional work;
  3. changes in the character or quality of any material or work;
  4. changes in the levels, lines, positions or dimensions of any part of the Works;
  5. changes in the price of trades or materials due to a shortage of trades or materials that was not foreseeable at the date of the contract; or
  6. extras or missions associated with compliance to altered statutory provisions.

It is important for builders to ensure that a valid variation is issued. This means builders must comply with the process and requirements for issuing variation notices that are set out in the variation clause.

Failure to comply with the administrative requirements of the contract might result in you not getting paid for the additional costs that occurred.

If you need any contract advice, please reach out to our Workplace Relations and Legal Team on 02 6175 5900.