Prime Cost (PC) Allowance
Prime Cost (PC) allowances are generally used for items that are subject to selection by the client.
A PC figure is a monetary allowance for the supply only of material, the builder needs to make an allowance to order, manage and install the material.
It is common for builders to allow a standard sum, or a cost per square metre, for items that most clients like to customize, such as tiles, tapware and lightfittings.
Below we have included some common PC allowance examples and the reasoning behind them.
Tiles can have a large impact on the feel and style of your home and therefore each person has their own preference. Unlike other floor coverings such as carpet or timber, tiles are typically supplied by one company and installed by another. As such, the tile supply as an allowance is a Prime Cost item, not a Provisional Sum.
Builders will often have a relationship with one or more tile suppliers in which they will have an agreed rate per square metre for a set group of tiles, often called “builders range”.
The builder will measure the square metres of tiling required for your home and allow a figure in your contract sum based on their PC rate. The client is free to choose any tile they like, however will be paying the difference between the supply price if their selection is more than the PC rate.
The builder will allow sufficient labour to cover most tile formats, however some types of tiles attract additional labour costs (large format, porcelain etc).
Light fittings can range in price from very affordable to very expensive. Once again, everybody has a different preference for style and performance.
The builder will often include a lump sum allowance for light fitting supply. A good builder should be able to accurately quantify how they came up with the lump sum amount, and it’s worth asking to ensure your expectations are covered by their PC allowance.
Again, the tapware and sanitary fixtures in your new home can vary in price and style. Most builders will have a “base” selection of taps, toilets, bathtubs toilet roll holders etc, however these may not be to your taste and you may request to have the tapware includes as a PC allowance.
The builder may have a supplier relationship through which you may be able to visit a showroom and select you desired fixtures for the builder to supply.