Which type of construction contract is most commonly used?

Lump sum contracts, also known as fixed-price contracts, are the most basic type of construction contracts. This is because they indicate a fixed price for all the work done with them. For this reason, lump-sum contracts are extremely common in construction. Cost contracts plus contracts are used when the scope has not been clearly defined and it is the owner's responsibility to set some limits on the amount the contractor will bill.

When using some of the above options, these incentives will serve to protect the owner's interests and avoid being charged for unnecessary changes. Keep in mind that cost plus contracts are difficult or more difficult to track and that more oversight will be needed. A flat rate contract, also called a fixed price contract, is quite common in the construction industry. As the name suggests, the contract documents describe the work to be done for a single fixed fee, rather than incorporating variables in the cost of the project.

This type of contract works well for smaller projects that are unlikely to have much variation in the scope or cost of materials. A design and construction contract requires collaboration between the project designer (the architect or the engineer) and the builder. Instead of the project owner requesting separate bids for the design and construction processes, both phases are bundled into a single contract. This saves time (and possibly money) for the homeowner, since they don't have to wait for the design process to complete before moving forward.

In addition to covering project expenses, a higher cost contract may also include overheads. This could include things like travel expenses and a portion of the contractor's administrative and office expenses. Contracts with additional cost are best suited for projects with an ambiguous scope or with many changing variables. Most contracts with higher costs include a “don't exceed” limit, which sets some budget limits.

A guaranteed maximum price contract (GMP contract) places a limit on the final budget of a project. All surpluses are covered by the contractor, whether in the form of labor or materials. A GMP contract can be a standalone contract, or a different type of contract can simply incorporate a guaranteed maximum price along with other specific terms. A time and materials contract takes a holistic approach to the project, with fixed prices for the amount of time the project takes, the cost of materials and the contractor's profit margin.

It's similar to a lump-sum contract, but it gives the contractor space to separate materials from labor rates. A lump-sum contract sets a certain price for all the work done for the project. These construction contracts are also referred to as “fixed price” or “stipulated sum” contracts. By signing a lump-sum contract, the builder assumes an additional risk, since the owner is not obliged to pay more than the original price if the project goes out of scope, problems arise, or any other changes occur during the project.

Some lump-sum contracts take this into account by including separate allocations that cover unforeseen costs and changes. If a homeowner decides to use a lump sum contract on a project, builders often charge a higher fee to account for the additional risk they assume. Otherwise, any unforeseen costs may affect the builder's profits or result in a project that may not be completed as planned. Flat-rate contracts are ideal for projects with a defined schedule and scope of work.

If they are not clearly agreed upon, it can be difficult for builders to estimate the cost ahead of time and avoid any overreach. Unit price contracts usually emphasize the types of tasks that are performed, in addition to the materials used in those tasks. This categorized pricing style makes it easier for homeowners to evaluate each cost and allows builders to charge more accurately for each category. This type of construction contract is not normally used for large construction projects and is more often used for smaller jobs, such as repair or maintenance work.

With unit price contracts, it's easier to adjust prices when the scope of work changes. Unit price contracts are most commonly used for repetitive work and public works projects. For example, the routine maintenance of a building could be more easily charged through a unit price contract, since it specifies the values of the different maintenance tasks required (for example,. Cost contracts most generally require the owner to pay all project expenses, such as the cost of materials, labor, and any other project costs.

In addition, these types of contracts will also include an agreed amount or percentage that covers the general expenses of the builder and the profits that the owner also pays. Depending on the type of cost plus the contract, the landlord may end up paying more than expected and therefore generally assumes more risks than the builder. Cost contracts plus contracts are normally used when the scope of work, materials, labor and equipment is not clearly defined or difficult to estimate from the start. Projects that use this type of contract are more likely to be completed as planned, since builders are not completely limited by cost.

However, this type of contract is more complex to manage and requires close monitoring. Construction contracts come with a lot of money and risk, so you need to make sure you choose the right type of contract. The contractor takes more risks in this situation because there is always the possibility of potential problems and higher prices. In addition to the contract, there are many other moving parts to consider, such as the amount of labor you'll need, the construction technology you should consider, and the main machinery you'll need for the job.

MT Copeland offers video-based online classes that give you a foundation on the fundamentals of construction with real-world applications, such as reading construction contracts. Fixed-price construction contracts are most commonly used when the owner wants to evade dealing with exchange orders for unspecified work. These contracts may include a savings sharing provision whereby the parties agree to divide any savings if the actual construction costs are lower than the maximum guaranteed price. A contract helps set expectations with your client about the cost and schedule of the project, and keeps everyone on the same page.

In a lump-sum contract, it's harder to get a credit for uncompleted work, so keep this in mind when considering your options. Under a cost plus construction contract, also known as a time and materials contract, the project owner agrees to pay the contractor for its costs plus a fee, which can be a fixed fee or calculated as a percentage of the costs. Finally, it can be difficult for contractors to schedule their work on the project and juggle the workforce and other resources. For example, the routine maintenance of a building could be more easily charged through a unit price contract, since it specifies the values of the different maintenance tasks required (e.g.

We use “builder” to refer to the entity that performs construction services and “owner” to refer to the entity that hires the builder to perform construction services. There are many types of construction contracts and they are generally adapted to the needs of the project. Understanding the different types of construction contracts helps you decide which type is right for you and your project. .


Elbert Thanem
Elbert Thanem

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