Partner at McCarthy, Leonard & Kaemmerer
The two phrases in the title to this article would seem as if they were synonymous with one another. However, in the legal world, whether work is determined by the Courts to be “additional work” or “extra work” can be the difference between doing it for no additional compensation and being entitled to extra compensation for doing it.
Missouri Courts have determined that “additional work” is work that was “necessarily required in performance of the contract” entitling the party performing the “additional work” to no additional compensation. Spirtas Company v. Division of Design and Construction, 131 S.W.3d 411, 419 (Mo.App. W.D. 2004).
“Extra work” is work that was “entirely independent of the contract and not contemplated by the parties”. “Extra work” entitles the party performing it to extra compensation for the work. Id. See also American Drilling Serv. Co. v. City of Springfield, 614 S.W.2d 266, 274 (Mo.App. S.D. 1981).
Because of the distinction drawn by the Courts between the two similar phrases, I would generally recommend that contractors use the phrase “extra work” when referring to work that is outside of the scope of their contract and work that they expect to receive extra compensation for performing.
Of course, a good way to minimize disputes about whether work is “extra work” or “additional work” is to have a clearly defined scope of work that indicates precisely what work, labor and materials will be furnished and what work, labor and materials will not be furnished or will be furnished for an added charge.
To Avoid Misunderstanding, Always Get an Understanding