Keeping to your plan is important, especially if the project you are undertaking is under construction.  We are working with a number of clients including domestic homeowners and builders where things are changing on a day to day basis.  Walls which were not due to be removed, now have to be supported and removed carefully.  Changes to the kitchen layout or supplier have resulted in a room thought to be ready for plaster requiring additional electrical fixing.1316.1

In the professional services business this is called scope creep, and happens nearly on most projects.  Something which starts off as a small piece of work gets larger as the project goes on.  However scope creep is dangerous and has some hidden implications.

  • Additional costs to the project which may not be documented until later on when settling with the supplier or contractor on final account.
  • Additional time spend on the project which was unaccounted for by the contractor, resulting in them being late off the project and annoying another client.
  • Projects stopping suddenly due to long lead items or changes which require additional consultation (eg planning).

We would recommend that if you are under construction and wish to make some changes to your discuss, you follow the following rules.

  1. Discuss the changes with your contractor or builder properly, let them think about the issues associated with the changes and don’t pressure them into doing them.
  2. Look at the cost and programme implications.  On a large build, a small change may not be an issue, but a large change on small project it may be massive.  See the example below.

Examples

The following are two recent examples whereby changes took place on projects and we discuss the implications.

Large Residential Property Refurbishment

A large residential property required extensive refurbishment following damage to the property.  The property owner had planning permission for a small extension to the rear of the property which comprised of a large bifold door opening, new roof and new walls and floor.  The builder was employed to undertake the new works, and undertake some minor alterations internally to door openings.  All was undertaken on an agreed cost basis and work took place over three week period.  

On one of the last days on site, the homeowner asked if some additional internal walls could be removed, the builder agreed and under supervision from Kingmoor Consulting, removed walls which was an additional 1-2 days work.  2 walls became 4 walls over that 2 day period, then it became an external elevation requiring rendering and then it became a gable wall rebuild.  All of which the builder got paid for but did so under duress.  He had planned to be away from the site and in the end was 3 weeks late moving onto the next project.  Had the additional work been identified from the start, the Builder would have planned resources, material and labour on the site and would have completed it in the original timescale for the Client.

Small Kitchen Extension

During the removal of a load bearing wall between the kitchen and utility room to enlarge the kitchen, the homeowner decided to relocate the proposed location of the sink and change the layout of the kitchen.  First fix plumbing and electrical works were in place within the kitchen and the result was that over 30% of the newly cast floor required removal to run waste pipes to the new location.  This delayed the handover to the kitchen supplier by 3 days who had since moved onto a new project and arrived 2 weeks later.  Overall delay was 4 weeks to the project from moving a sink from an external wall to an island within the kitchen.

 

We hope this information helps you and we always welcome feedback either by email at hello@kingmoor.co or via twitter @kingmoorconsult.