What is a provisional sum?

A provisional sum is a sum of money allocated for a particular activity that is not fully defined, but it needs to be considered for a construction project.

In the context of measured building survey and topographical survey an architect may request for a provisional sum quotation to propose to their client.

What this means is that the client or architect is not entirely aware of the extent of the construction proposal and would need a ball park figure to add in their budget. This happens because of a few reasons:

  • The client is not decided on the extension option of their property (i.e. roof extension or ground floor extension)
  • The planning application may be complicated and the outcome of the planning process may determine the option to go for
  • The client is just looking for a budget price to get a loan

The provisional sum on its own is not part of the scope for deliverable until the client instruct it to be included. When the client instructs the architect or surveyor they will then confirm the scope and price (if there are any changes) and it will proceed.

The client does not need to pay for the provisional sum in the contract as it is not defined as a deliverable.

Important:

Make sure the provisional sum is itemised in the quotation as it will make it easier to identify only the amount due to the contractor/surveyor/designer when they apply for their fees. It is quite common for poorly managed practices to ‘hide’ the provisional sum value within a lump sum but never deliver the item.

Remember:

The contractor/surveyor/designer will not need to deliver the provisional sum until it is instructed to proceed.

You can get a quote for a measured building or topographical survey from us by contacting us at info@icelabz.co.uk.

 

Published by

Bhavesh Ramburn

Commercial Manager - Quantity Surveyor with 10+ years in the construction industry.

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