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prime cost and provisional sum

2 replies [Last post]
iyad sabouni
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can somebody explain in details what is the difference between provisional sum items and prime cost items, when each to be used?, what items usually is covered by each?, and what risk is associated with them from the owner and contractor prospectives.


Ian Lee
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Prime Cost and Provisional Sums can be further sub-divided into "Defined" and "Un-defined"

Defined sums are those where whilst a price for the works cannot be accuratly determined a reasonable amount of information exists giving an indication of the Clients requirements ie. sketch drawings.

Un-defined sums are those where no information exists.

When planning a job it is important to distinguish between the two types as defined sums are deemed to have been allowed in your programme timescales whereas undefined sums are not.
Benj Aquino
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Hi Mr. Iyad. Here’s their deference:

Provisional Sum is a sum provided for work or for costs which can not entirely foreseen, defined or detailed at the time of tendering documents are issued. While Prime Cost is a sum provided for work or services to be executed by a nominated sub-con, a statutory authority, or for materials or goods to be obtained from a nominated supplier that exlcudes any profit required by the general contractor and provision shall be made for addition thereof.