There may be various reasons for this agreement, but cost-plus contracts should also spell out the basic reasons that the contractor is entitled to the fee. There should also be provisions addressing what legal consequences should follow if the fee provisions aren’t upheld. A cost-plus fixed fee contract is a specific type of contract wherein the contractor is paid for the normal expenses for a project, plus an additional fixed fee for their services. These allow the contractor to collect a profit on the project, and they encourage economic production in various industries.

You’ll know exactly how much your project will cost and make sure that there are no extra expenses charged at the end. As a Product Owner, you develop a detailed project specification the provider uses to develop cost and time estimates. Both elements are fixed in this model, meaning that the development team commits to delivering the project within Application Performance Management the set deadlines and budget. The model requires careful estimation of the time, scope, and budget – but these values are still flexible and can be agreed upon on a regular basis during the development process. If you choose this contract, you’ll be settling payments within the previous-agreed intervals – for instance, on a monthly basis.

What Is The Time And Materials Model?

With T&M, you are billed for the time and any related costs associated with the project as they occur. Because the incentives are an extra part of the contract, owners and contractors must engage in an extra set of negotiations to hash out what the final incentives will be. There are numerous types of incentive contracts which may be offered, from automatic incentive formula to sliding scale percentages to fixed-rate bonuses. Each incentive included in the contract requires a point of negotiation, which ultimately delays the start of the project for everyone.

  • Fixed price or lump sum pricing, as the name indicates, provides for payment of a set amount.
  • Moreover, a fixed-price contract may lead to tension between the owner and the contractor as to the scope of work.
  • This type of contract is an agreement to complete a project at a set price that includes all costs and profits.
  • A fixed price contract establishes a single, lump sum cost for a construction project.
  • Owners will argue that all matters fall within the scope of work so as to avoid any further costs.
  • On the other hand, a contractor will argue that specific items are outside the scope of the contract to justify and increase in the contract price.

The advantages of time and material contracts are worth comparing to those of a fixed price agreement. The time and materials approach is ideal for dynamic projects with a large scope and an unspecified scope whereas FFP agreements work for small projects with a stable budget. Unlike the fixed-price contracts, in time & material agreements clients are charged for working hours worked by the supplier and materials used for completing activities. Fixed price contract A fixed-price contract is a lot simpler than a cost-plus contract.

Additional Construction Contract Pricing Considerations

With a fixed-price contract, the entire cost of the building is agreed upon in a set price. This set price includes all building materials and profit that the contractor will make – as well as the labour hours. Thus, both parties should weigh all the pros and cons before entering into a cost plus fixed-price contract. Again, each contract will be different, depending on the type of project involved and the relationship of the parties. Cost plus fixed fee contracts can be used when both the contractor and the owner agree that the contractor is entitled to a fee in addition to the project expenses.

This type of contract is often used in situations where adequate estimating is impossible due to unpredictable site conditions or other factors. As such, a cost-plus fee arrangement places more risk on the owner and requires a high degree of trust in the contractor. I recall when a client was forced to utilize this contract type to renovate an old building. When I dropped by to see the progress and joked that it looked like every employee of the contractor was on site, he was not amused. A variation of the cost-plus fee contract is a guaranteed maximum contract, which helps protect the owner from incurring a significantly higher price than expected. Good estimating skills are absolutely critical because if done poorly, inaccurate bids can lead to a contractor’s demise. The contractor should seek some protection in the contract against uncontrollable conditions, such as unanticipated soil conditions or delays caused by extreme weather conditions.


Considering the foregoing t&m vs fixed price model comparison, it is essential to weigh all the strengths and weaknesses of each contract type fixed price contract pros and cons and how they can fit in your project. With specified requirements, fixed budget and pre-arranged deadlines — there won’t be any surprises.

To have a deal both parties should agree on the predetermined price of a project and explicitly define each other’s responsibilities fixed price contract pros and cons before the work begins. This model guarantees that the final price of the delivered services isn’t going to change.

Advantages For The Contractor

It allows creating user-friendly products that are suitable for the modern mobile market as good as possible. As you have already learned, fixed price contracts are risky enough. They are not very well fitted to the remote software development outsource software development, which is dynamic and often hardly predictable rather than stable and easy to foretell. If to talk business, the fixed price model is the pricing strategy based on rigid planning.

Thus, this strategy may suit a short and completely thought out project. In our experience, most app development companies prefer to work using the time and materials pricing model.

Lump Sum Vs Time & Materials (t&m)

What’s most important, it allows for changes and flexibility, and immediate reaction to any change on the market. Otherwise, if a particular project fits well into the fixed price approach in terms of both requirements and cost, it surely is the better way for the Client. Fixed price is a fair pricing model for small, well-defined, fixed scope fixed price contract pros and cons work that requires no involvement from the client. If a software provider agrees to create a fixed price project with an unclear scope, they will most likely add a risk factor, or padding, to protect themselves. A software provider will define a scope of work with your help, and then deliver that exact scope of work for an agreed upon price.

fixed price contract pros and cons

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