JCT contracts—variations
JCT contracts—variations

The following Construction guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • JCT contracts—variations
  • What constitutes a Variation (or Change) under JCT contracts?
  • Complying with or objecting to a variation
  • Valuing variations under JCT contracts
  • Variations and loss and/or expense
  • Impact of variations on time under JCT contracts
  • Variation Quotations and Change estimates

This Practice Note looks at how variations are dealt with under the main forms of JCT contract. For a wider discussion on variations, including reference to relevant case law, see Practice Notes: What is a variation on a construction project?, Variation instructions on a construction project and Valuing variations in construction contracts.

This Practice Note looks at the JCT Design and Build Contract (DB) and JCT Standard Building Contract (SBC) (the With Quantities version). This Practice Note covers both the 2016 and 2011 editions of those contracts. If there is any difference in clause numbering between the editions this is highlighted, otherwise the clause references are the same in both editions.

For details of how variations are dealt with under NEC contracts, see Practice Note: NEC contracts—variations. In relation to the FIDIC contracts, see Practice Notes: FIDIC contracts 2017—variations and FIDIC contracts (pre-2017 editions)—variations.

What constitutes a Variation (or Change) under JCT contracts?

After entering into a JCT contract, the Employer may instruct a variation for many reasons, eg where the Employer decides it wants additional works carried out, or where it changes its mind about a particular detail of the works, or where the site conditions differ from those expected at the outset. The definition of a variation is set out in clause 5.1 of both the JCT SBC and DB