Variations are an inevitable aspect of a building project. Very few are completed without any changes being requested or necessary. Nick Cook, an experienced builder and Founder of the online build cost calculator ProntoCALC, explains why he developed the Variations feature on ProntoCALC to ensure project profitability.
Variations to a building project can involve tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds. When one or more variations do not meet the legal requirements, clients are within their rights to refuse to pay. I have minimised the risk of serious financial loss by using the variations feature on ProntoCALC with countless clients on many projects. The inevitable aspect of all build projects is the client changing their mind about what they want, or just not making decisions quickly enough. Some changes are inevitable in large building projects as it takes shape. One of the areas where ProntoCALC can help is allowing you to make and agree changes with your client without setting the project back and adding to the cost. ProntoCALC, is a web-based build cost calculator designed for Builders, Architects and Homeowners. The application uses a simple & straightforward data entry system to produce a 10-page PDF which details all aspects of a build, including an indicative build schedule and the ability to make adjustments to suit budgets. All users can see from referring to the works details on the ProntoCALC system, to avoid any potential costly disputes from arising. I designed the system to help users save time and money by providing an honest and accurate way to produce building quotes.
We do not commence any site works or order any materials until the customer has agreed in writing to changes to the scope of works. This is so much easier using ProntoCALC as the budget facility allows me to provide detailed item-by-item costing, variation and payment records and then I can support my cost changes by using the easy data entry section to record labour and materials for each design change. This can then be agreed by the Client, before any costs are incurred.
ProntoCALC provides the Builder with correctly completed paperwork. This is essential to the profit of any building project and it avoids nasty surprises on both sides. Incomplete documents place you the builder at risk of being out of pocket by tens or, hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Effective job cost management is the key to success when running a project. Invoicing the correct amount to the client upon completion of the work is also important. Invoicing for variations can become a nightmare to manage as the volume of work increases. ProntoCALC helps the builder and client work together to ensure that the project runs smoothly. It allows the Builder to keep an up-to-date schedule of all the Client’s requested variations. A good build cost system will help you prevent profit leakage and track every variation. Project Managers are also able to closely monitor all variation works. Timely invoicing of the variation works will reduce stress as the initial costs are usually borne by us builders.
The sheer size of some projects may result in quite large changes to the scope of works. Timely invoicing, therefore, results in better cash flow and a reduction of your “out of pocket” expenses. Ensure that any variations are notified, costed and passed onto the client as soon as possible, in full and with a small margin on top. This may sound like common sense, but many Builders manage variations badly and fail to pass on updated expenses to the client and lose money on each variation. Builders that don’t use a build cost calculator won’t always record these changes at the time they happen. This leads to nasty shocks all round when it comes to completion. All these issues can be successfully managed and budgeted for by using the right build cost system. Transparency in budgeting and accounting is essential for monitoring a project throughout its duration, enabling instant identification of overspend or unpaid bills.
Our online build cost estimator, allows you to easily estimate costs involved when building an extension, new self build, barn conversion or any other type of building work. It makes it quicker and easier for you to price work.
ProntoCalc’s format can help all users save time and money. Homeowners can see all the aspects of their build project and can plan budgets and make adjustments easily. Builders can use the system to estimate the cost of the building works and also to regain control of budget over runs on both new and existing projects. Once you have been awarded the contract, the system can be used to easily manage all aspects of the build.
To sign-up for a free 60 -Day trial of our house building cost calculator, visit www.prontocalc.com