Construction projects are complex by nature. A number of parties come together both on and off the construction site to create a functional structure. Adding to the complexity is the occasional need to make changes within a project. Projects may be impacted by contractor RFI’s, differing site conditions, or the unavailability of necessary materials, among many other items. These occurrences may cause the scope of a project to change. Ideally, if this happens a change order can be placed. While change orders can controversial in nature, there’s another maneuver that’s even more prone to conflict, but can happen during the construction process as well called the construction change directive (CCD). If you are a contractor and you receive a CCD, you may want to speak with one of the Clearwater construction lawyers at Trent Cotney P.A. to determine your best course of action.
Change Orders vs. Construction Change Directives
While there names are similar, their legal ramifications are vastly different. Change orders are changes in the project timeline or project sum brought on by a change in the project scope. These changes are agreed upon by the contractor, owner, and architect. When the owner and contractor are not able to agree on changes, a CCD can be made by the owner and the architect. The CCD directs the contractor to make the requested change in lieu of this agreement. In these matters, the architect typically decides what the contractor’s compensation should be for the change of work that they CCS causes.
Why Construction Change Directives Cause Conflict
CCD’s are controversial in nature because they have the potential to spawn conflict between the contractor and the owner. The owner and the contractor may not be able to come to an agreement on a specific change order. Issuing a directive to complete the work can put a strain on the relationship between the two because it forces the contractor to do work that they may not want to do. If it’s a relationship that the owner wants to maintain, a CCD may not be the best move.
As for contractors, it’s critical to have all contracts reviewed by a Clearwater construction attorney to ensure that your interests are protected when it comes to CCD’s or change orders.
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.