While all of the different pricing mechanisms have advantages and disadvantages, the most frequently utilized pricing mechanism is, by far, the fixed-price arrangement. Cost plus contracts benefit buyers because the contractor can incorporate high-end materials into their base cost to produce a top-tier product. If the buyer has already agreed to cover the cost of construction, there’s no incentive to cut costs.

fixed price contract pros and cons

The most common type of contract is the fixed price contract, also known as the lump sum or stipulated sum contract. Fixed price contracts carry more risk to contractors than owners. They minimize the owner’s (or GC’s in contract with a subcontractor) construction cost risk and obligate the contractor to perform their work for a fixed dollar amount. In the IT world, fixed-price contracts are also quite common, although the focus is gradually shifting towards agile development with its variable costs and overall superior flexibility. However, there are still countless situations where the customer will require firm commitment to a particular budget, especially if this customer comes from the public sector. f the many concerns an owner must navigate during the pre-construction process, one of the most critical issues to be resolved is how the construction contract will be priced. The pricing method ultimately selected will inevitably impact how the project proceeds as well as set the groundwork for the interaction between the owner and contractor for the duration of the project.

What Is A Fixed Price Contract In Construction?

Under unit price contracts the contractor is paid for the amount of units delivered at a fixed price per unit. This type of contract is used when the fixed price contract pros and cons number of units cannot be accurately estimated at the beginning of the contract. Unit price contracts are typically used for highway or utility work.

  • During the development phase of a project, the client is generally responsible for resolving any unexpected issues that arise that weren’t part of the original scope of work.
  • Further, with a fixed-rate model, the developer makes a more substantial profit with fast completion.
  • Many times, fixed-rate contracts lead to a low quality finished product which creates a lower ROI and long-term bug and performance fix costs .
  • But the best pricing model really depends on the type of project or work you are doing.

Time and Materials (aka T&M) is a standard phrase for a product development contract. In this model, you pay for the actual time the team spent on developing your product, together with the cost of all the materials and equipment used in the process. Time and Materials is generally used in projects where it is not possible to accurately estimate their size, and requirements are dynamic. The benefits of the fixed-price model are mostly on the customer’s side.


High quality leads to cost savings over time since there are less bug and performance issues to resolve. Payment under fixed price contracts is generally based on a percentage completion basis as defined in the contract. The contractor and owner have different goals in the payment process. The contractor wants to have the highest value associated with the work done earlier in the process to provide for positive cash flow against expenditures. This practice, fixed price contract pros and cons also known as front-end loading, offsets the contractor’s costs against the normal delayed billing cycle and retainage typically required by the owner. Retainage withholding helps protect the owner against contractor defaults and provides an incentive to for the contractor to complete the project. The contractor will likely have to agree to some percentage of retainage but may attempt to have the amount lowered as certain milestones are met.

Although the number of units might be unknown, the contract typically provides an estimate so the owner can compare bids. It is common to have some change in price per unit based on economies of scale.

Fixed Price Disadvantages

Time and material projects tend to deliver more value per feature than fixed-price projects. Due to the enhanced efficiency of the time and materials development process since the change order process does not hinder it. Also, the quality of the initial code build is often higher on a time and materials project since the development team is not being pushed to cut corners.

Similarly, if you want to make a layout change once we have torn a wall out or change the faucet choice, it is a simple conversation that accomplishes those changes. With Cost Plus, your understanding and approval java mobile app development of the change in costs is all that is required. Transparency protects the client from erroneous charges, and the builder’s interests are protected because the client has agreed to pay for the changes.

Fixed Price Vs Time

This means that the seller has agreed to deliver work for a fixed amount of money. This type of contract is often used by government contractors to control the cost and put the risk on the vendor’s side.

Thus, sellers who follow the fixed-price contracts have legal obligations to complete the contract otherwise they have to incur financial liabilities if they cannot deliver. Under this arrangement, the buyers should specific the types of products or services that they provide so that the buyer fixed price contract pros and cons can set a particular fixed price to the deliverables. A fixed-price contract is a type of contract in project management wherein the payment does not depend on the resources or the time spent. It involves setting fixed price for the product, service or result defined in the contract.

How To Protect Your Payments When Dealing With A Construction Bankruptcy

Cost plus contracts eliminate the inflation that occurs in fixed price contracts when contractors overestimate costs to protect themselves from unexpected costs. In some circumstances, separate GMPs for different components of the work are set at different times, as design progresses. Agilesoftware outsourcingcompanies tend to avoid projects with fixed price because there is no changeless weather in the world of custom software development. Sometimes it’s the Client’s will that introduces changes, sometimes it’s a technological necessity or a business condition, dictated by the dynamic market.

As a software product owner, a fixed price contract feels warm and fuzzy. You can space out payments evenly and not worry about financial uncertainty. An incentive contract is a sub-segment of a fixed-price or cost-reimbursement contract when there are specific cost or time commitments that are desired for a project. The standard incentive contract will allow for a fixed price to be paid for work to be completed by a specific deadline and at a specific cost. If the contractor is able to complete the project sooner, cheaper, or both, then an incentive is paid for that accomplishment.

Fixed Price Contract: Pros And Cons

When the custom product is bound to evolve, iterative development is an advisable solution. It’s faster, because there are no Change password management system enterprise Requests and lengthy re-estimations. It shows the progress, because the Client receives intermediate builds upon each milestone.