Why Change Orders Are a Bad Idea

changing orders
Image Credit: Marko Zirdum

The joke in the contracting industry is that the name of the contract is “Life Raft” or “Dinghy,” and the name of the change order is “Yacht.” It is extremely important to stay focused on your original intent, material selections, and layout. Your plans should not deviate unless you are “Titanic”-bound and headed for disaster.

Contractors often find themselves faced with a change order because the client has seen a recent design or material that he or she simply must incorporate. Clients fail to realize the damage that the change order brings to the entire home renovation timeline, as well as to their carefully budgeted finances. So unless your home renovation is headed for disaster, you should avoid changing orders.

The Drawbacks of Changing Orders

Consistency and staying focused are important when renovating your home. Some of the major drawbacks and effects of changing orders include:

Shifts in Timeline

Home renovation projects are based on a timeline, which states exactly how the project will progress over a fixed number of days to result in successful and timely completion.

When you change orders within a project, you disrupt the flow of work and the contractor has to make adjustments to the entire schedule in order to incorporate your new changes. Depending on the work that will be required, the new timeline may extend well over the previous one, utilizing more days to complete the same project, and costing more in hours billed.

This can be a great inconvenience to you, as you may be in need of quick renovations. Even if you have the time and money to delay the completion of the project according to your particular needs, the contractor may have other jobs to answer to, and will have to adjust those schedules as well. The disruption of a single timeline acts like a row of dominoes, with the entire systemized schedule collapsing due to a single change order.

Additional Costs

Home renovation is a costly process, where contractors usually provide you with a rough estimate before beginning the work. However, once work begins, the rising rates of the materials, the costs of hidden damages, and other such circumstances are often expected increases in the cost of the project. This is normal and should be budgeted for accordingly.

Alternatively, for a change order, you should expect to be billed a change order fee and then again for additional time and materials, often at INFLATED RATES above and beyond the original order.

Additional fees are applied to the whole project, along with extra finances being used for the development of the new order. No matter what your requirements may be, your contractor will have to buy new materials and spend extra time to finish the project, and you will have to finance the materials and the extended services of your contractor, as well as the inconveniences accrued.

Considering the drawbacks of changing orders, homeowners that are in need of timely completed projects at reasonable rates should remain focused on the project at hand rather than try to implement every new trend into their residence. Staying focused and true to the original contract is the best way to avoid change orders and prevent a waste of time and money.

Why Change Orders Are a Bad Idea was last modified: January 26th, 2017 by Nick Giobres
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