What's a “change order”?
A change order is a request to alter, exchange, or substitute a product or design feature that has already been approved, delivered, or installed by your contractor at your project.
A change order is the same no matter if you are renovating your home, adding an addition or having a new custom home built. Since you are asking for something that was never agreed upon a new agreement must be created and this is what a “change order” is at its essence.
The change order will state what the change is that you are asking to be completed and it will also give you a cost for that change. Once you sign it you and your contractor have agreed to amend the original contract in the stated area of work only.The rest of the original contract stays the same.
Just because a change order is created doesn’t mean that you have to sign it. A change order is also something that you can decline once you see the final cost on paper. When building a custom home your contractor will probably end up creating dozens of change orders for you. Some of these changes are asked for by the client and some are recommendations from the contractor to alter something or upgrade something in the home as the home is being constructed. Sometimes depending on the type of change you can be given several change orders all with different options on them and it is up to you to choose the one that is right for you. For example; When building a new custom home the home was estimated with typical to the minimum code batte insulation. Once the building has started your contractor will offer you the ability to change that insulation to something that is better, there are half a dozen ways that the insulation in a home can be upgraded, every different way will come with a different price. You are then presented the different options on several different change orders and choose the one that you want and also will fit into your budget. The others are filed as rejections and only kept on file to prove that you were offered them.
Occasionally you will be presented with a change order that details the changes you want but has no cost attached to it. This is because the change you are asking for will not cost you more then what the original would have cost you. You are only agreeing to the new change order so that everyone has a record of what and when you have changed something from the original contract.
A change order isn’t something that you should be scared of, it’s something that you should expect your contractor to produce every time you want to change something from the original contract. This is a sign that your contractor is a professional and is interested in keeping your project well organized and running smoothly in a timely manner.
Village Builders Inc.