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CHAPTER FIVE POWER TO VARY

Construction Contract Variations

CHAPTER FIVE POWER TO VARY POWER TO VARY SECTION A: INTRODUCTION 129 SECTION B: TYPE AND METHOD OF WORK 141 SECTION C: VOLUME OF WORK 147 SECTION D: TIMING 155 SECTION E: OMISSIONS AND INSTRUCTING ALTERNATIVE CONTRACTORS 159 SECTION F: THIRD-PARTY CONSTRAINTS 171 SECTION A: INTRODUCTION 5.1 Obligations under a contract cannot be varied unilaterally unless the contract provides for this. If a seller has agreed to supply a particular product, the buyer can normally only change that product by agreement. If the contract is to be varied, then the same requirements regarding mutual agreement and consideration apply, as they would in relation to entering into a new contract. 1 Varying the scope of works under a construction contract involves changing the obligations of the contractor and this is no different, in principle, from varying any provision of the contract. 2 An employer therefore has no implied unilateral right to vary the works. 3

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