Small Firm, Big Results

Reasons change orders are necessary for construction projects

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2021 | Construction Disputes |

Even the most well-planned construction project may experience unforeseen challenges. Unexpected complications may surface in the middle of the project, things architects and developers may not have predicted during the planning stages. Among those complications may be the owner abruptly requesting significant alterations to the original construction plan.

When this happens, contractors must secure a change order, which serves as an addition to the contract. Each change must be written down and agreed upon by everyone involved in the project. There is no room for “cowboy” contractors who subscribe to aggressive and independent attitudes in which they continue to perform the work without a change order. Such action may lead to another complication: a legal one.

Inconsistencies and adjustments

A change order addresses a project’s revisions. Contractors and owners must agree on a change order’s conditions and to follow throughout the span of the project. In certain situations, those changes lead to additional costs to the project. Contractors know this, and so should the owner.

Here are some of the essential reasons why change orders are necessary:

  • Mistakes, miscalculations and inconsistencies in the original project designs.
  • An owner’s decision to make certain detailed adjustments to the project.
  • An owner’s decision to reduce expenses by cutting costs.

Contractors have been known to make additional changes to a project without obtaining a written change order. However, such situations usually occur after the owner and contractor held a series of discussions and waived the need of having a change order.

And if it is a “cowboy” contractor who pursues project changes without discussions with the owner and without securing a change order, legal troubles surface. Many disputes arise. For example, the owner may wonder why such changes occurred without his or her involvement. Then there are also disagreements regarding payment to the contractor.

As a contractor, you do not want conflict with a project’s owner. Your goal is to complete the project, and, if a change order is required along the way, make sure to have one in place.