It is not uncommon for construction projects to veer off the projected path. Our Miami contractor attorneys understand that scope creep happens on many projects, and eliminating them altogether is next to impossible. Every job will require some tweaks to the original scope of work at one point or another. If these changes are handled properly, your project is sure to see success in its final stages. This second section of our article will continue the list of scope creep causes started in part one and will also provide tips for how to handle scope changes.
Clients are not as in tune with your processes as you are and may ask for changes that are not in the original scope of work. They may want to get as much work out of the deal as they can. This is why a clearly written estimate is essential to help remind them of the agreement and also the potential cost of changes outside of the scope.
In construction, the unexpected can happen. Contracts cannot control every external factor after a contract has been signed. For example, inclement weather and natural disasters can absolutely cause delays which may require extra work.
Scope Change is Inevitable
So if change is inevitable on construction projects, what is the big deal with scope changes? The issue is not about changes being made, rather, it is about those changes being mismanaged. Before making any project changes, it is critical that parties clearly understand the change and how the change will impact the project. You can handle requests for changes in four ways:
Make a Switch: If a change is requested, compare the new change with your current deliverables. Once you compare the budget, schedule, and resources for each, can you replace one with the other if the previous one is no longer needed (as a result of the new request)?
Reject the Change: Some clients may be all over the place with their requests. Their uncertainties can greatly impact your project plans. If a change will have a major impact on the overall timeline, just say no.
Offer an Add-On Project: You may have needed to reject a change but the change may actually be a good opportunity to get additional work after the completion of the current project.
Keep the Process Formal: Every project change should include a decision-making process for approval or disapproval and should be documented accurately once the change is made.
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.