What Is Price Adjustment in Construction Contracts

Price adjustment is a mechanism that is commonly used in construction contracts to ensure that the price of a project remains up-to-date with changes in the market. It is essentially a clause that allows for the adjustment of the contract price, based on changes in certain market conditions or events.

Price adjustment is particularly important in construction contracts because construction projects are often lengthy and the prices of materials and labor can fluctuate significantly over time. Without a price adjustment clause in place, contractors and project owners may find themselves facing significant cost overruns or under-billing for their services.

There are two types of price adjustment clauses that are commonly used in construction contracts: fixed price and cost-based.

Fixed price adjustment clauses are typically used when the contract is for a specific service or project that has a clearly defined scope and timeline. In these cases, the contract price is set at the beginning of the project and will not change, regardless of any changes in market conditions.

Cost-based clauses, on the other hand, are used when the contract is for a project that has a longer timeline or more variable scope. This type of clause allows for the contract price to be adjusted based on changes in the cost of materials, labor, or other factors that may impact the project.

There are several factors that can trigger a price adjustment in a construction contract. These may include changes in the cost of materials, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, changes in labor rates or availability, changes in governmental regulations or taxes, or changes in the market demand for certain materials or services.

It is important to note that price adjustment clauses can be complex and require careful consideration during the contract negotiation phase. Both parties must agree to the specific conditions that will trigger a price adjustment and the method for calculating the adjustment.

The use of price adjustment clauses in construction contracts can be a valuable tool for ensuring that both parties are protected against unforeseen market changes and that the project remains financially viable. However, it is important to seek the advice of a legal and/or financial expert to ensure that the clause is clear and enforceable, and that it is tailored to the specific needs of the project and parties involved.