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Construction glossary

What is an Allowance?

An allowance, in the context of the construction industry, refers to a specific cost included in a contract to cover a particular item or work, the exact nature and cost of which are not yet determined at the time of contract formation. Essentially, it's a budget provision for various categories of items that could not be specified or quantified at the time the contract was made. This amount can then be adjusted as necessary based on the actual expenses incurred for the specified work. Examples of allowances could be funds set aside for fixtures, fittings, or finishes, where the specific models or types may not have been selected when the contract was drawn up. The primary objective of an allowance is to enable the smooth progress of work without interruption due to financial constraints. Hence it also helps in maintaining a scheduled timeline for project completion. However, it requires careful management to ensure that spending stays within the predetermined limits.