My contractor wants to make a substitution for something that is specified in the job. Is that allowed?

Q

My contractor wants to make a substitution for something that is specified in the job. Is that allowed?

A

This can be a tricky subject — but it doesn’t have to be. Most building contracts allow the contractor to propose an alternative to a specified item, particularly when that item is described by brand or proprietary name. In the public sector, it is usually required by law. The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 states that where a technical specification is provided, the words “or equivalent” are deemed to be included in the specification.

This is where the problem begins. How do you measure equivalence? The specified item will have a number of properties: size, shape, durability, and colour, for example. But taken in combination with other factors, they may have an effect on the overall performance of the project. Air tightness, sound penetration, thermal insulation, or even health and safety considerations may have been taken into account. For example, a type of window might have been chosen because of its shape and colour, but also because of its ease of maintenance, or because it operates in a particular way, which makes it safer to use.

Want to read more?

This content requires a Croner-i subscription.

No Subscription?

;

Contact us to discuss your requirements.

Book a demo
Call an Expert:

0800 231 5199

Talk to us on

live chat