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How do change orders work?

by | May 27, 2020 | Construction Law

Building a home or other structure can come with a variety of potential pitfalls. Supply and regulation issues can pop up out of nowhere. And the project’s timeline may prove too condensed to complete the necessary work. In these instances, among others, a change order may be necessary to move forward with your project.

What change orders do

Change orders are amendments, agreed upon between you and your client, to an original construction contract. They are often put in writing and signed by both parties. Some parties may complete these agreements orally or by handshake. However, proper documentation can protect you in case further issues arise with the project or your client.

Circumstances that could lead to a change order include:

  • A change in building materials
  • An adjustment in the construction schedule
  • An adjustment in the project’s budget
  • The discovery of regulatory or building obstacles

Before you proceed with a change order, make sure your original construction contract allows for them. If it does not, you may find yourself unable to uphold it.

Potential issues with change orders

Your client may make frequent pushes to amend the original construction contract. If it faces an excessive number of change orders, it may become invalidated. To prevent this from happening, it is crucial you honor the standing contract to the greatest degree possible.

Deciding when they are worth it

Amendments to construction contracts are common. At the same time, it is imperative to understand when they are appropriate and when they cross the line. If change orders throw a wrench in your work, an attorney can help you understand your options for moving forward.