Changes during a construction project are often litigated. Most of the time, changes occur due to an unanticipated condition that occurs over the course of the project. Despite how well a project is designed or managed, it’s highly probable that changes will occur, but change orders allow the contract to accommodate these changes. Regardless of the source of the change, a formal written change order should be used.
This two-part article will discuss several reasons why a change order may be necessary and it will explain how they should be handled. Read part two for more reasons. Due to the risky nature of construction, our Miami construction lawyers believe that effectively managing the changes in a construction project contributes to the overall success or failure of a project.
Some conditions cannot easily be observed before actual construction starts. These conditions may be below or above the surface. Such unexpected conditions could substantially increase the cost of performance for a contractor. An example of a common unforeseen condition is soil. Once you start project work, the soil conditions may actually be different from what you thought they were. Because of this, a change order must be priced and issued before continuing work.
A drawing may ask for a specific product, but the specifications may require another product. This will cause issues because it will make it difficult for the contractor to provide an accurate quote. The absence of accurate plans will create disagreement about the actual cost. It’s important to ensure that specifications are accurate and complete to the current project to avoid change orders and extra cost and work.
Drawing Errors and Omissions
If there are errors and omissions in the project, this can also lead to change orders. Accidentally leaving out things such as soft costs can lead to change order requests and can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars. This is why it’s important to prepare a complete set of detailed drawings.
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.