The Difference Between Extra Work and Additional Work

Failure to do additional work can result in a general breach. Knowing the difference between the two can also help the subcontractor better defined the scope of work (knowing the particular risk of each job), so that the potential additional work can be properly excluded from the scope of work at the time of contracting so that if it must be done, the subcontractor can establish the elements of an equitable claim if not doing the work may hinder its ability to efficiently perform the actual contracted work.

In the new video-on-demand, “How the Difference Between Extra Work and Additional Work Can Impact Claims for Payment,” available from the Foundation of the American Subcontractors Association, attorney Jay Morris, Galloway Johnson Tompkins Burr & Smith, helps subcontractors identify the difference between extra work and additional work, so that they can better decide on whether to proceed with the work without a change order or not (in order to avoid general breach or delay damages).

Most construction contracts have change order provisions that require a written change order signed by the general contractor (identifying the work and the change in contract price for the additional work) in order for the subcontractor to get paid for doing work beyond the scope of the contract. Sometimes there is disagreement about whether the work is within the contract scope of work or not. Other times, a subcontractor must decide whether the time lost arguing over the change order in advance is worth the delay costs and may decide to do the work in advance of getting the change.

When deciding to proceed with work outside the contract scope without a change order, it is important to understand whether the work is “extra” work or “additional” work because the subcontractor will have an equitable claim for the cost of the former if it makes sure to establish certain required elements of the claim. However, if the work is “additional” work, an equitable claim (one outside of contract law based upon equity/fairness) will not lie.

Extra work is work that was not contemplated by the contracting parties at the time of the contract and the performance of which is not necessary to fulfill the performance obligations of the subcontractor. Additional work is work which was contemplated by the parties at the time of contracting but which may have been thought or anticipated to be unnecessary to perform the scope of work.

“How the Difference Between Extra Work and Additional Work Can Impact Claims for Payment” (Item #8119) is $65 for ASA members and $95 for nonmembers. This and other on-demand videos are available through FASA’s Contractors’ Knowledge Depot.

FASA was established in 1987 as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity to support research, education and public awareness. Through its Contractors’ Knowledge Network, FASA is committed to forging and exploring the critical issues shaping subcontractors and specialty trade contractors in the construction industry. FASA provides subcontractors and specialty trade contractors with the tools, techniques, practices, attitude and confidence they need to thrive and excel in the construction industry.

Source: American Subcontractors Association


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