The construction industry comes equipped with it’s own terminology, and some of the common terms one might here are change directives, change orders, and construction changes. In this article we will be discussing the differences between these three terms. As construction lawyers in Jacksonville, we know that though the names of these terms are similar, their legal implications are notably different.
A change order is a written contract that the contractor and the owner enter into, that covers all modifications or changes beyond the scope of the original contract and establishes any new contract items, any other basis of payment, or any time adjustments for the work affected by the new changes. The change order will become a part of the contract when it is correctly executed. A change order is typically issued once the contractor has filed a claim. This is what allows the contractor to be paid for finished additional work as determined to be fair and reasonable, and that does not require the consent or signature of the contractor.
A construction change directive is an alternate mechanism for directing the contractor to add additional work to the contract when time and cost of the work cannot be agreed upon between the owner and contractor performing the work. This order to do something without a mutual agreement on timing or cost is why this mechanism is susceptible to heavy disputes.
A construction change is a completed document that has been approved by the engineer. It will cover any changes that were made in the plans or specifications, as well as any additional items and the payment schedule that was established in a change order. Contractors should be aware that even if there is change on a project, it does not necessarily mean that they will be entitled to additional time or money. They will be required to review their contract and ensure that they are entitled to any recovery for a change in their work.
Whether an agreed upon change order or an unagreed upon construction change directive, there are always deep-rooted risks involved for contractors when taking on new work. It is recommended that a contractor seeks the counsel of a construction lawyer in Jacksonville when working with construction change orders, change directives, and construction changes to decrease the chances of disputes and litigation.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.