Additional cost in construction
"m Early this year, my wife and I engaged the services of a team of architect and engineer to design and build our dream house. After several meetings, we approved the final design of our future home and agreed to the price quotation given by our architect and engineer. Three months into the construction, the architect informed us that he can modify the design of the house to allow more natural light into our house. We told our architect that we are amenable to the change as long as it will not cost us anything more than the original price quotation. He replied that if we want to make the change that he is suggesting, we have to shoulder the additional cost for the changes. As we do not have any extra money, we declined his suggestion to modify the design of our house.
However, he insisted that we should agree to the modification and the additional cost as the engineer already made the changes in the construction.As much as we want to agree to shoulder the additional cost, we cannot do so because we used most of our savings to pay for the original proposed construction price given to us. Given that the engineer already made the suggested changes without our approval, are we required to pay for the additional cost of the changes made by our architect and engineer even if we did not agree to it?
No. You are not required to accept the recommended changes in the design of your house. Neither are you required to pay for the additional cost incurred by your architect and engineer in modifying the design of your house. This is supported by Article 1724 of the Civil Code of the Philippines which provides:“Article 1724. The contractor who undertakes to build a structure or any other work for a stipulated price, in conformity with plans and specifications agreed upon with the landowner, can neither withdraw from the contract nor demand and increase in the price on account of the higher cost of labor or materials, save when there has been a change in the plans and specifications, provided:
Such change has been authorized by the proprietor in writing andThe additional price to be paid to the contractor has been determined in writing by both parties.”This means that an architect, engineer or contractor cannot demand to increase the agreed upon cost to build a structure due to the unilateral changes made by the latter, unless the said changes and the additional charges in connection therewith have been agreed to by both parties. Thus, to justify the increase in the cost to construct the property, the architect, engineer or contractor should have first secured your consent to the said changes and the additional cost for the construction should have been determined and agreed to by the parties in writing. It appears from your letter that the changes were unilaterally made by your architect and engineer thus, you are not bound to pay for the additional cost of construction as you did not agree to the same.This opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated. We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to "
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"Additional cost in construction"
was written by Mary
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comments. The article was created on 14 September 2021
and updated on 14 September 2021