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Making Changes to the Plan – Change Orders

Whether you are remodeling or building a new home, the topic of change orders will always come up.

When you contract with either a general or sub contractor they will provide you a bid for their supplies and/or services.  The bid spells out the services and materials to be provided. The original contract also outlines the design for your home and the projected final house you will have. If problems arise during the construction process or you change your mind about what you want to be done, a change order should always be completed. The change order details the new plan, including services, materials, and any design changes, that you have mutually agreed upon as well as the additional costs for these changes and who is responsible for the costs. The change order then becomes the valid contract by which you and contractor must legally abide.

That doesn’t seem like such a big deal, right?  However, changes to construction projects represent the single most common reason a remodel project goes over budget and/or the completion is delayed.  Let’s look at an example of why that might occur.  You are talking with your window guy who suggests you might want to put a skylight into that new upstairs bathroom you are having added.  When you ask him how much that will be, he replies that he can get you a great one for about $125.  So you tell him to go ahead that is a great idea.  What you may not realize is that the framer will need to come back to frame that in and then the wallboard guy will have to put in the sheet rock, etc.  It might even need some changes to the original design and engineering for the project.  What looked like a great $125 idea could be over $1000 by the time you are done.  A few of these change orders and you can be significantly over budget before you finish your project.

Your goal as a home owner should be to minimize the number of change orders on your project.  The way to do this is to spend the time up front planning your remodel on paper before any workmen ever step on your property.

If you are using UBuildIt, your Construction Consultant can work with you to plan your dream home on paper and minimize the need for change orders.  If a change does come up during construction, always talk to your Consultant first to help you evaluate the total cost of the change and how they fit into your budget.

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